Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

Well, Jackie Shroff has a natural swag and that can’t be missed! That has continued over the years in his films and also off-screen. He talks to you in the most casual bambaiya language and also Gujarati in between, making the conversation as candid and endearing as it can get! And yet, he is a man of few words. A huge list of memorable films to his kitty, Jackie Shroff’s latest -‘Phamous’ – has hit the marquee and we get chatting about the film amidst more…

What did you like about ‘Phamous’?
First of all, Karan Bhutani, my director, when he narrated his thought to me and cast me in this film, I could not say no because I saw a streak of honesty in him. If he is honest, the script is honest. He has given his best and the role he has given me is a very nice compact, strong role. One gets a glimpse from the trailer itself that his trust in me is justified. He has got such a good work from me. I want my director to be famous after the film.

While you give all the credit to the director in a modest way, you certainly must have worked on something?
Yes, just on myself in general. My body, the way my character talks is quite aligned. He is quiet. For him, it’s more about what’s inside than the outside.

So many years of work later, today when something comes to you, what is it that you really look for in a film?
First of all, I look at my director. If he has come to me, he must have thought of it. He must have had a certain image of me and hence he came to me. So you have to go by his trust in you. And it feels good when someone thinks of you for a role. For this film, I liked what Karan spoke and I’m happy I did it and had such great colleagues with me. I was blending with them.

With the kind of experience you have, do you have any insights to give while you’re working on a film?
There’s no formula 44 today. You never know what works. How much ever you promote a film, and if it doesn’t have to work, it doesn’t work. There’s no sure shot formula, that’s what I know.

Amidst the films you’ve done which are your favourite?
I liked ‘King Uncle’. That was a lovely film, it had a lovely idea behind it, it was entertaining. The look of the character being so stern, caricaturish, how he hates kids and then adopts a girl child finally. That whole story-line was beautiful. Apart from that, ‘Gardish’, ‘Parinda’, ‘Ram-Lakhan’, ‘Hero’ obviously because I started off with it, ‘Rangeela’. There are many such films close to my heart, how many to name (smiles)?

And you still continue to work with the same zest…
I can work for 12 hours at once. I can’t just lie down or relax for a long time, it would give me cramps. I have to keep working. If you keep any machine also unused for a while, it will rust.

So, what’s the line-up post ‘Phamous’?
There’s this BBC web-series, then ‘RAW’, a Konkani film, and a Gujarati film which I’ve just finished. So, there’ll be 4-5 projects keeping me busy till August-September.

How’s your experience been with regional cinema?
Easiest. They handle you so well, like a baby!

What else do you like doing apart from movies at this time?
I love farming! Growing bananas, chikoos and so much more at my farm.

I asked Tiger a while back that Jackie Shroff being such a huge star, how does he feel about now creating an individual identity for himself, rather than just being called Jackie Shroff’s son…
Infact, people now call me Tiger Shroff’s father and it’s a superb feeling!

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