Johnny Lever’s daughter Jamie Lever makes her debut with short film ‘Cuddles’ – Watch

New Delhi: The daughter of veteran actor Johnny Lever, Jamie Lever is making her acting debut as the lead in Kabeer Khurana’s short film ‘Cuddles’. Starring Jamie Lever, Viveck Vaswani, Komal Chhabria and produced by Raakesh Desai, Cuddles will stream on OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar from December 3rd. ‘Cuddles’ is based on a short story by Larissa Theule (Kafka and the Doll). It is written and directed by Kabeer Khurana and co-written by Avirat Parekh.

Speaking of Cuddles, Jamie said: “I was sold on the script when I met Kabeer and understood his vision when he told me the story. It was hard for me because I’ve always done comedy and this is a very unique project, very subtle, very real, from the heart, unlike anything I’ve done in the past. I was just excited to play a fresh and refreshing character. When it comes to comedy, you can be over the top and loud with your performance, but when you have a subject matter like this, you really have to be subtle, sincere, and underplayed to bring out those deep emotions. Kabeer was very helpful. We did a few readings and he made me realize how to touch those emotions and bring them out in the scenes. Overall I had a great time with Kabeer and all the team, a young, energetic and motivated group, so confident in what they wanted to do. I also like that Kabeer has included a bit of vocals, which is one of my strengths. I got to sing live and record my own songs, which is a great opportunity.”

About his choice of actors, Jamie and Viveck, director Kabeer Khurana said: “Casting for short films is always a challenge. Since short films have no market, it is always worth casting not only a competent actor who matches the look of the character but who is also a familiar face to get the right visibility online. Many names were thrown into the mix, Jamie and Viveck’s names also came up. My mom was a big fan of Jamie’s stand-up and online content and I thought it would be interesting to see her break the stereotype of just being a comedian into a nuanced and emotional performer. I felt she was unfairly pigeonholed and she was incredibly versatile. The movie captures her diverse talents and she also sings a song in the movie that plays over the credits! Casting for Viveck was equally challenging. We wanted an actor who could bring that warmth, innocence, simplicity and age-old wisdom and Viveck was definitely the right fit. Incidentally, he had also played a small role in my father’s film (in 2010) and when I called him, he immediately agreed! It was an honor to work with both Jamie and Viveck. Besides being great actors, they’re great, friendly people and I’d love to work with them again. We had great conversations.”

Watch the trailer here

Viveck Vaswani is an accomplished actor, director, producer and educator who plays a pivotal role in the film. Viveck said of his role in the film, “When Kabeer approached me for Cuddles, I was really happy to be a part of it. Even though I am now in education and working as the dean of the school of contemporary media at Pearl Academy. Nothing gives me more joy than being able to act, to top it off it’s a warm script that is the need of the hour.

Producer Raakesh Desai shares: “Hugs have rekindled my creative thirst. Unlike my experience in the banking industry, this is another learning opportunity and a way to contribute to cinema. Working with very talented people like Kabeer, Jamie, Viveck, Komal and the production team made the experience even more enriching. The story is short and sweet, simple and relatable.”

“Cuddles is a story of hope and we are confident that in such harrowing times, the project will connect even more with audiences than it normally would.” added writer-director Kabeer Khurana. Kabeer is a 15-time international award-winning filmmaker who has earned a Filmfare nomination for his latest project titled Suttabaazi.

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