Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY
We catch up with Javed Jaffrey for a chat, just as his recent thriller series ‘The Final Call’ has released on ZEE5 Originals. We discuss with him about his journey in showbiz, insights of the show amidst much more…
What was that you really liked about the script to come onboard, also it being a web series so what was the thought process when it came to you?
It doesn’t matter for an actor if it’s a web series or any such platform he or she is using, because an actor always looks for content to explode; what they can do and how they can be an integral past of it. For me, the first thing is that – what kind of script it is, second is, are you principle in that script so these two matter the most and third obviously who are the people producing the film, will they be able to explore it in a right way because your efforts should not go waste. Thus, I try to be part of things which can execute the way the script demands and at the same time distribute and explode in the right way. I have been part of films, done televisions and now this space which has opened out and has benefits to it. A) It has world receiving audience B) It doesn’t need limited distribution, if we will get theater or will it be broadcasted or not. It’s a super highway where anyone can log on to. It’s a great territory and it pushes the envelope in the space of creatively whether it’s writing, and many other things. So, for me these were the parameters which were important and I loved the subject and the ensemble cast also, ZEE knows how to explode it and they have a very good platform.
Give us the insights of your character.
His name is Siddharth Singhaniya and he is a multi billionaire, he has been there, done that, and he is kind of fed up with the material aspect of life; they don’t really matter to him. He sees the fakeness of it, he sees the attachment of people to material things and something inside him is hollow and sinking, and he feels something is missing in his life but he doesn’t know what’s missing. And how destiny brings people together is the primarily dramatic foundation of this series – ‘The final Call’. It’s about how people come together, into a common destiny and at a point when you know its end of your life; how it changes you and your perspective and when you go back in retrospect to ponder on your life and you see that what was wrong and right, how it should be or should have been. My character has a spiritual aspect with the astrologer and he finds a teacher in the astrologer. He has been a good father, a good husband but as I said the material aspect that makes a difference, this is the basic draft of my character.
How methodical as an actor are you?
I have a bag with me where there is an improvisation that happens and there are times when I come on set, get into my character and things happen. Certain things that are worked on are with directors and writers as to if I want to know how the character thinks, beyond that, it’s his mannerism as to how his speech would be because everybody speaks slightly differently, some speak slow, some speak fast, some stammer, so yeah for me that as an actor is important where you build physical trait and rest of it are the emotional trait, so you combine that. And I like to do my homework and make my notes as an actor, what to do to get into a character.
How would you describe your journey in the film industry and the evolvement you’ve seen in the industry in all these years?
Acting is something that happened to you, I had never thought of it or was focusing on it, and in 1985 I got my first break with the film ‘Meri Jung’. I started off as a villain and then I became a leading character and eventually I did different characters. I have seen myself progressing as an actor and yes I am evolved in so many years and I’m happy about it and there is much more to do and much more to go ahead with. And if we talk about medium – Yes, I started off with television then I did cinema and now the digital space is the most amazing space, it’s a super highway anyone can get on, and the world is your audience and you don’t need structured distribution which was the limitation of cinema and also to some extent for television. Also, the censorship limitation not necessarily only sexuality and violence but also the subject and how you show what you want to show. I think we can push the envelope much, much on the west, especially the writers and the subject they come up with and how it can be executed and I guess it’s a great territory for every artist and also today we have multiple choices and different language shows. Every language show is spread all over the world and anyone can see from anywhere, so it’s fantastic.
As an actor you get an opportunity to play different roles and the liberty to vent out different emotions in different ways, do you see it as the best part of being an actor?
The advantage of an actor is that you get to live so many lives or characters that they play but its only when they get into them. If you get to play a well written character, I think it’s great for an actor to become so many people and for those moments to live a certain life. But it’s all fake and the point is, you know you’re lying and the more convincing you lie, the better actor you are. There is times when people look up to you but again there are responsibility as to what you say and what you do can affect so many people. And that’s a strange thing because people assume actors to only act and if we talk or be opinionated about politics, or social issues, they need to understand that we are also a human being and citizen of Indian. We are living in a society where everyone has a viewpoint, generally actors are very sensitive and they are aware of what is happening around so you can ask them, like in the West the actors have a voice – they speak about issues, they not just speak about social issues but also political. For an actor I believe to able to play and live so many characters in life and for that, the homework becomes your observation, you see what’s happening in the world, with individuals, with characters, so you have to observe all these things to be aware of what’s happening and how you can apply that and use that homework in a role of a film.
What’s the USP of ‘The Final Call’?
I feel the genre, it’s a physiological spiritual thriller and we’ve not had that before. We have done a spiritual film but this is something different, it’s got a lot of spirituality and at the same time it’s got a lot of thrill. It’s how things come together, faith, destiny, that’s the USP of the series.