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Jackie Shroff slowly changing sides

By: Reshma Kelkar, IndiaFM 

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"I always wanted to be a villain as I loved to play a bad guy onscreen." says actor Jackie Shroff, who is playing a comic villain for the first time in Sangeeth Sivan's forthcoming film Apna Sapna Money Money. Jackie Shroff is known as one of the power gallant actors from the Indian film industry. He feels there are various dimensions to the role of a villain than a hero, who looks monotonous in every single movie.

"I think after Mission Kashmir people started liking me as a villain. It was a hard role. If there is any scary, villainous role after Gabbar Singh, I think it was Hilal Kohistani, who had scared the audience".

Talking about his role in Apna Sapna Money Money he says, "It is for the first time that I am playing a villain, which is comical. I have never done such a role in my entire career of 180 films." Incidentally Jackie also plays a villain in his forthcoming film Naksha as well.

Revealing his passion for playing negative character in movies, Jackie says, "I wanted to be a villain from the beginning of my career. In fact in my first film Swami Dada I played a henchman to Shakti Kapoor and so that's how my mind was set for negative roles. But after that Subhash Ghai launched me as an anti-hero in his film Hero and I became the hero. Later I did 100 Days, Aar Ya Paar and Parinda where I played negative roles. I am happy that I am offered to play bad guy."

But off lately after movies like Bandhan, Refugee, Yaadien or Devdas, Jackie seems to have relegated to second fiddle roles. When asked about his priority while choosing films he replies, "My character has to be strong. If a character doesn't interest me then I never do it. If a character's presence really matters in a film then I feel I must do it. While in Khalnayak the title role was played by Sanjay Dutt, he was Khalnayak but I was the real Nayak. Same with Devdas; Shahrukh played the lead role but you can't have a Devdas without a Chunnilal. So I am not worried about playing second fiddle as I don't have any ego issues. Even if I have a small role, it can emerge into a strong character".

When asked about his growth in the industry over the years, he says, "I gave maximum solo hits in Bollywood. I don't see any growth in me. I am the same Jackie, which I was 25 years back. I have seen growth in my directors not in me. I work according to my directors. It's up to a director as to how he presents an actor. I think it's a director's art; how he utilizes an actor's talent".

Speaking about his mentor Subhash Ghai he says, "Subhashji is Godfather to me. It's always great working with him. I have good relations with everyone in the industry. I have enjoyed working with everyone from Madhuri to Manisha and all are my friends. Most of my films are with Anil Kapoor. He is like my elder brother in real life though onscreen I am his elder brother. He gives me lots of advice. In fact he is my best friend from the industry and in real life as well."

Currently shooting for Priyadarshan's Bhagam Bhag he says "It is a comedy film again but I play a serious role. In his films, Priyan always finds some serious lines, which are full of laughter like in Hulchul, Kyon Ki and now Bhagam Bhag. Here I play a London police officer."

When asked about his equation with filmmaker Priyadarshan he says, "Since Gardish to now I like Priyan and every role that he gave me has turned out to be a strong role. It's just like a pillar of the film. We understand each other. We concentrate less on acting and more on story. We don't have to act in his films; we have to remain natural and normal. I am one of those guys, who can remain natural. He has always represented me as a serious guy in most of his films."

Jackie is one of the busiest stars of Bollywood working on several projects at the same time. "I will start shooting for Deepak Balraj's Malik Ek where I play Sai Baba. Then there is Sumeet Sehgul's Bhoot Uncle where I play a ghost who helps kids. It will release in October. Poonam Sinha's Mera Dil Leke Dekho will release this year. Sanjay Khan has just announced his home production company and I will be doing his first movie Maryada Purushottam next year while in Feroz Khan's Kurbani I play Amrish Puri's role. There are quite a many untitled projects as well". Ask him about getting back to production and he quips, "I am not focused to produce any film now as I yet have to come across something that interests me."

Finally we ask him about his son Tiger who was to be launched long back by Subhash Ghai. "Yes it's true that he has been signed by Subhash Ghai. He had signed my son Tiger when he was born, so what's new? Shahrukh's son has also been signed. Subhashji signs everyone's son before they are born. But Tiger doesn't want to be in films. He wants to be in sports, not in acting", signs off Jackie.

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