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Jimmy Shergill speaks on his films

Jimmy Shergill has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. Two of his films release quite close to each other. While Eklavya - The Royal Guard arrives this Friday, Delhii Heights hits the screens on March 09. Is it 'two-much-too-quick' for him? Joginder Tuteja catches up with Jimmy to know about this and a lot more. Over to Jimmy!

You have two releases coming quite close to each other Eklavya - The Royal Guard and Delhii Heights. Are you nervous?
In fact I am excited. The two roles are quite different and the films too belong to contrasting genres. It is good to see the way characters are written these days which gives actors like us an opportunity to broaden our horizon.

Like playing an out-and-out evil guy in Eklavya?
My character in the film is that of a prince who is jealous of another prince played by Saif Ali Khan. Add to this the way he has been brought up in a royal manner and you can see a certain attitude around his entire persona. All of this reflects each of his acts, whether he is talking to someone or just having a casual walk in the fort.

Doesn't it make you a villain?
If you look at it from your end, you may perceive this character as evil, or a downright villain. But get into the character's shoes and you would see a reason behind the way he acts and behaves. From the very beginning, Vidhu Vinod Chopra was clear that we didn't want this character to look like someone who was a typical 'villain-villain'. Otherwise they could have chosen any conventional baddie in the role. Instead the thought was to have someone play this character who looked believable and yet portray the evil side in him with the right justification. Not able to do so would have resulted in the purpose being lost to have this character in the narrative.

Did it all sound so clear at the very onset?
Yes, I was quite clear about the role I had to play and how I had to do it. Also it was a privilege to be with Jaggu dada [Jackie Shroff] since he brought all his years of experience with him. As his son who has his own way of settling scores, it was quite a challenge to stand up with him and deliver. So while Jackie as a father has his own royal way of taking revenge, I am projected as someone who is aggressive by nature.

Since Saif Ali Khan comes from a royal background, did you take any tips from him around costumes, dressing up etc.?
We had designer Raghuvendra Rathore to help us in the costumes department. Since he is himself based in Rajasthan and hails from the princely clan of Jodhpur, his association with the project was quite useful as he brought great authenticity. As my character has a lot of anger and attitude in the film, I am mostly dressed in leather jackets.

So how do you think the film has shaped up?
It is one gripping action thriller that would keep you entertained throughout its 1 hour 45 minutes length.

Just 1 hour 45 minutes?
That's right. At the very onset Vidhu Vinod Chopra was clear that to keep the action thriller mode of the film interesting enough, the film's length has to be only around 100 minutes. This is why the film is a short and sweet cinematic experience that would keep you on the edge of your seats throughout.

So what else is happening on the career front?
I have a very interesting film called 'The Strangers' coming up where I would be seen with Kay Kay Menon. Raqueeb is complete too and should now come around May. Chodo Na Yaar is another interesting film for which the shooting is over while Sanjay Gupta's Dus Kahaniyaan should be arriving in July.

That's quite a lot...
[Laughs] Wo to hai, but they should run also and not just release. Isn't it?

True. On a parting note, what's happening on your personal website front? You had mentioned some time back that it would be launched soon.
The work on it at the moment is going a little slow. There are so many things like getting the right photographs, content etc. is place. Also, I am also looking at some tie ups with the site. Once that happens, it should be all set to roll! 

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