Jackie Shroff on the patriotism in Paltan, working on Bharat and Saaho, son Tiger's bankable stardom
It’s difficult to not like Jackie Shroff. The seasoned actor has the unique ability to gel with the crowd - winning hearts along the way. And he almost always keeps his stardom at bay.
When I meet him for an interaction, he insists that the interview can happen only outdoor and not indoor. The actor is bored of giving TV interviews under flashlights in a closed hall. Amid prying photographers, he lights his cigarette on the sly, and announces 'koi dekh to nahi raha hai?' with a chuckle.
With this, we begin. Paltan is the third film that brings Jackie and JP Dutta together, after Refugee and LOC. “JP Saab has worked with some great actors in the past and is my industry senior. He knows his game and has this intense feeling about the soldiers of this country. When he took me for Border, he fulfilled a desire I've had since my childhood. I always wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid. Though I could not become one in real life, JP Saab gave me that opportunity through Border. It was my good luck that I ended up working in Border," says Shroff.
Does playing a soldier bring out a sense of patriotism in an actor? “It definitely brings about a feeling of pride for the country,” he says. The actor further mentions that through Paltan he has been given a chance to be a part of Indian history.
Jackie Shroff is one of the few actors from the industry who has made a smooth transition from lead roles to character roles. The ease with which he slips into even his small roles, he believes, stems from confidence he has gathered over the years. “I have often been one of the four legs of a chair. If you were to take out one leg, the chair won’t be of any use. Now who sits on that chair is a matter of separate discourse. Be it Devdas, or Mission Kashmir or 1942 - A Love Story, it feels good to be an integral part of such films. Subhash (Ghai) Ji has always told me that it’s not the length, but it’s the strength of a character that matters the most. And so, I don’t get scared even if I am offered seven scenes in a film.”
Most upcoming big ticket films like Bharat, Saaho, Prasthanam and RAW have him in pivotal roles. The actor will also be appearing in the Hindi web version of the much acclaimed BBC drama Criminal Justice, which was later remade as The Night Of by HBO. He will be stepping into the shoes of John Turturro. “I am doing a lot of work these days. I have been travelling constantly from one set to the other. Though my body is that of a 50 plus, my mind still behaves like a 19-year-old. According to me, a person is a child from age 1 to 40 while from age 40 to 80 he is in his youth. I will think about my life when I cross 80. It’s all about tying your shoe laces in the morning and leaving for work.”
Jackie considers himself as a fakir actor who never had the desire of doing anything extraordinary. But no interview with Jackie Shroff can be considered complete without asking him about his son. Jackie is elated at the astronomical rise in Tiger’s stardom and that he is now a bankable star. Does he advice his son? “As a father I have never tried to tell him anything. As parents we have never imposed anything on him. I am lucky that he has now created his own niche but at home we never discuss film,” he adds.
Updated Date: Sep 10, 2018 13:02:34 IST
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