Sengupta at the special screening of Buno Haansh.
15 March 1977
|Years active||1999 – present|
Jisshu Sengupta, popularly known as Jisshu, is an Indian ex-cricketer, film actor, producer and television presenter, who works predominantly in Bengali and Hindi language films. Sengupta was born in Kolkata; he studied at the Julien Day School, where he was fully engrossed in playing cricket. He pursued a degree in economics from Heramba Chandra College, following which he started to work in an advertising agency.
Jisshu made his debut in the showbiz through a mythological television serial , Mahaprabhu, as the lead character, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The role in the show became a breakthrough role for the debutant. Subsequently, he made his debut in Bengali cinema through Priyogon, which couldn't take off his career. He then appeared in a spate of critically and commercially unsuccessful projects. A turning point came in his career, when he collaborated with Rituparno Ghosh for the latter's Abohoman, which earned him critical acclaim. His subsequent collaborations with Ghose for films, which include Noukadubi, Shob Charitro Kalponik bought him higher degree of critical and commercial success. Sengupta's collaborations with other arthouse directors for films such as Jaatishwar enabled him to become one of the most sought out actors in Bengali cinema.
Jisshu continued to garner wider attention and further critical acclaim for the role of a contract killer in Rajkahini (2015) and a private detective in Byomkesh O Chiriyakhana (2016). His performance in the latter earned him a Filmfare Awards East 2017 nomination for Best Actor. His biggest commercial success came with the action drama film Zulfiqar (2016), as he continued to draw praise for his performances in Sesh Bole Kichu Nei (2014), Jaatishwar (2014) and Arshinagar (2015)
Apart from films, Jisshu is actively involved in anchoring reality shows and award shows, including Filmfare Awards East 2017. In 2011, he made a comeback on television in fiction category through Aparajito, which he produced for Star Jalsha.
He is the son of Ujjwal Sengupta, also an actor in Bengali films. His mother, Mukta Sengupta, was a homemaker and a wedding planner. Jisshu has an elder sister, Satarupa (Rai) Sengupta, who was previously married (now divorced) to Anindya Bose, the lead singer for the Bengali band Sahar. Jisshu's wife Nilanjana Sharma, whom he married in 2004, is the elder daughter of Anjana Bhowmick, another Bengali film actress in the Bengali film industry; her debut Bengali film was Swapner Feriwala (2002), directed by Subrata Sen.
Initial success and setback
Jisshu started his career with a teleserial, titled Mahaprabhu, which aired on Doordarshan. He earned critical acclaim for portraying the younger Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the series. After his part ended in the series, he made his silver screen debut through Priyojon. Directed by Dinen Sengupta and starring Abhishek Chatterjee and Debraj Roy in other prominent roles, the film , was a critical and commercial failure. Thereafter, he appeared in a string of critically and commercially unsuccessful ventures, as main lead. He made his debut in Bangla cinema through Moner Majhe Tumi, appearing as a parallel lead, which was highest grossing film of Bangladesh in 2003. He went on playing supporting roles in commercial films, namely Abhimanyu, Kurukshetra, Mahaguru, Sangram, Sajani, Guru, Janmadata, Chore Chore Mastuto Bhai, Premi , earning low degree of success. In 2008, he starred with Koel Mullick in the romantic-comedy film Love, which was based upon Love Story (novel) by Erich Segal. He was once again paired opposite Koel Mullick in another romantic comedy film Bor Asbe Ekhuni. The film ran for a month in Kolkata and also had a run in the suburbs though the occupancy rate was 40-45 per cent for four weeks. His chemistry with Koel Mullick in the film was critically acclaimed. He also made his debut in Bollywood through Shyam Benegal's biographical war film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero.
Collaborations with Rituparna Ghose and success
After appearing in critically and commercially unsuccessful films ,he met director Rituparno Ghosh, which made Sengupta put more thought into his choice of films. Under Ghosh’s tutelage, he gave some of his critically acclaimed performance in films, including Shob Choritro Kalponik (2008) , Chitrangada, a betrayed husband in Abohoman. Shob Choritro Kalponik also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali in 2009. The Times of India stated that "Jisshu Sengupta, in the role of a junkie, has delivered one of the finest performances of his career." in Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish.
Sengupta portrayed the protagonist in Noukadubi, alongside Raima Sen, Riya Sen and Prosenjit Chatterjee (in an extended cameo). Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph praised Sengupta's performance and reviewed "Jisshu is the protagonist here and he makes Ramesh’s dilemmas come alive with the right mix of anguish and affection."
Comeback to Bollywood and recent work
Sengupta made a comeback to Bollywood through a cameo appearance in Anurag Basu's directorial Barfi!. Sengupta collaborated with Srijit Mukherji for the latter's musical drama film Jaatishwar co-starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and Swastika Mukherjee. Released on 17 January 2014, the film opened to widespread positive reviews from the critics and was commercially successful. The film has been recognized as the most awarded film in the 61st National Film Awards with 4 awards in the following categories - Best Male Playback Singer (Rupankar Bagchi for the song E Tumi Kamon Tumi), Best Costume Design (Shaborni Das), Best Music Direction (Songs) (Kabir Suman) and Best Makeup Artist (Vikram Gaikwad). Sengupta played a supporting character in Mardaani, starring Rani Mukherji. In 2015, he portrayed Byomkesh Bakshi in Anjan Dutt's directorial Byomkesh Bakshi, replacing Abir Chatterjee. His performance received lukewarm reviews from critics with Zinia Sen of The Times of India stating "Jisshu might have breathed fresh life into the character, but there's an unmistakable touch of fatigue to the film." He next collaborated with Srijit Mukherji for the latter's drama film Rajkahini, which consolidated his position as an actor. Upam Buzarbaruah of The Times of India reviewed "But the show-stealer by all means is Jisshu. It's not just his physical transformation for the role, but the way he has gone about changing his entire persona — right from minute gestures to the murderous glint in the eye." and Shomini Sen of News18 also praised Jisshu's performance and stated "Among the actors, its Jisshu Sengupta, in an extended cameo, who steals the limelight. Of course, veterans like Kaushik Sen and Saswata Chatterjee deliver fine performances, but Sengupta camouflages himself into the disgusting, gory contract killer Kabir so well that one can’t take their eyes off him. As Kabir, he is menacing, ruthless and repulsive." Both of the films opened to widespread commercial success upon release. His other release in 2015, the musical drama film , Arshinagar flopped, though his performance earned critical acclaim. In 2016, he starred in the sequel of Byomkesh Bakshi and Zulfiqar, the former being a commercially and critically successful venture whereas the latter being only a commercially successful venture though his performance was critically acclaimed. He also received a Filmfare Awards East 2017 nomination in Best Actor category for his performance in the former film and won the Star Jalsha Awards for Best Negative Role as well as a nomination of Filmfare Awards East 2017 in the Best Supporting Actor category for the latter. As of now, he is committed to star in Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy's upcoming directorial Posto. Based on parenting, the film stars Soumitra Chatterjee, Mimi Chakraborty and Lily Chakraborty in prominent roles.
Jisshu is associated with television from the beginning of his career since he forayed into showbiz with a mythological series based on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Almost after a decade, he made a comeback to television in fiction category through his own production, titled, Aparajito, which aired on Star Jalsha. Apart from fiction, he have been anchoring many award shows, namely Filmfare Awards East 2017 and non-fiction shows, namely the three sessons of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa: Gaane Gaane Tomar Mone, Bengali version of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Egiye Bangla.
Jisshu has been an avid sportsman, taking part in many sports, most notably being cricket, from his childhood days when he used to play the sport in sub-junior games. He was the vice-captain and now captain for the Bengal Tigers team, representing Tollywood in the Celebrity Cricket League. Though the team haven't won any edition, but his cricket skills have been appreciated by many. Bengal Cricket League, which commenced on December 26, 2015 was also the brainchild of Jisshu. Apart from cricket, Sengupta also supported the Kolkata Marathon in the year 2014 along with some other celebrities. Over 8,000 participants including elite runners, beginners, fitness enthusiasts, corporate teams and spirited youngsters took part in the Rs.10 lakh prize money event held on Feb 8, 2014. Jisshu also took part in a charity football match for the knee replacement surgery of the Indian football player, Kushumita Das.
In the media
Jisshu was ranked first in the Calcutta Times' Most Desirable Man in its 2015's edition. He gained the 49th position in Times Celebex in July, 2015 for the buzz created around his 2015 comedy drama film, Piku. He also appeared in Dabboo Ratnani's Bong Calender 1422, first of its kind initiative and was presented at the launch event of the calender. Along with Paoli Dam, he launched the Times Food Guide 2017 at ITC Sonar.
Filmography and awards
Jisshu's most successful roles include:
- Moner Majhe Tumi (2002)
- Love (2008)
- 90 Ghanta (2008)
- Bor Asbe Ekhuni (2008)
- Ek Nadir Galpo: Tale of a River (2008)
- Abohoman (2010)
- Arekti Premer Golpo (2010)
- Noukadubi (2011)
- Takhan Teish (2011)
- Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish (2012)
- Jaatishwar (2014)
- Rajkahini (2015)
- Arshinagar (2015)
- Byomkesh O Chiriyakhana (2016)
- Zulfiqar (2016)
- "Out of the box: Of bad reviews and good collections in Tollywood". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 Oct 2016.
- "Starry night out". Calcutta, India: www.telegraphindia.com. 2004-07-11. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- Dasgupta, Priyanka (2004-03-08). "Jishu, Nelanjana to tie the kno". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- "That Nineties Show". The Telehraph. Retrieved 12 Sep 2010.
- "Priyojon film". Gomolo.
- "Tolly tally". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 15 Oct 2008.
- "Groom vroom!". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 Aug 2008.
- "The floating hearts". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "For Jisshu Sengupta, Rituparno was his 'parents'". Business Standard. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Bong actor Jishu Sengupta gets Barfee". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 Dec 2011.
- "Jisshu: actor who is a hero". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 9 Jan 2014.
- "A Tale of Two Byomkesh Bakshis: Anjan Dutt Didn't Want 'Another Abir'". NDTV. Retrieved 2 Nov 2015.
- "Rajkahini, Byomkesh ahead in the box office race in Kolkata". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 Oct 2015.
- "Is Arshinagar Aparna Sen's biggest disappointment in recent times". News18. Retrieved 12 Jan 2016.
- "Out of the box: Of bad reviews and good collections in Tollywood". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 Oct 2016.
- "We enjoy a comfort level with Soumitra Chatterjee : Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 Mar 2017.
- "'Now I want to play a villain!'". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa opening night applauded by Tolly biggies". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 Jun 2015.
- "Jhalak comes to ETV Bangla". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 11 Feb 2013.
- "Egiye Bangla TV show of Bengal government to boost entrepreneurship". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 Dec 2015.
- "Jisshu steps out". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 Apr 2015.
- "Look who's hanging out with Dhoni!". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 Jan 2017.
- "Celebspace". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 13 Feb 2013.
- "Bengal Celebrity League to start December 26". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 Dec 2015.
- "Over 8,000 to take part in Kolkata Marathon". Business Standard. Retrieved 3 Feb 2015.
- "Bangals win against the Ghotis at The Chinglish Premiere Gig". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 Jun 2015.
- "I am not a narcissist: Jisshu Sengupta". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 Jan 2016.
- "Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone top the Times Celebex list". Economic Times. Retrieved 16 Jul 2015.
- "Kangana and Madhavan launch Bong Calender shot by Daboo Ratlani". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 Jan 2017.
- "Best moments from the Times Food Awards". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 Jan 2017.
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