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Every time Aishwarya or Sushmita Notch up an international film, they hit the headlines. But Jackie Shroff chooses to maintain a low profile while shooting for director Paul Nicholas' English film First Fear in Goa. Even when he plays five different characters in the film.
From a one-eyed beggar to a bald priest, a shopkeeper, an African American looking entrepreneur and a toy vendor on the beach - Jaggu Dada will enchant you in his multiple avatars. "None of the characters in this film come close to any of the roles I've played before," says the actor who will also be seen in Bhagam Bhag and Eklavya after a series of forgettable flicks like Naksha and Mera Dil Leke Dekho.
"It's a very big project but you don't know much about it because the director has not publicized it much, unlike other foreign films. I faced the camera after five hours of make up and I couldn't recognize myself," smiles Shroff. Flaunting a flamboyant red scarf, the actor looks his usual self when he greets us at a five star hotel in Goa.
"He was incredible as a blind beggar," says Nicholas. "That's the scariest of all his looks. While we used a prosthetic piece to make his blind eye look real, a milky white contact lens for the other eye makes him look even more fearful," says LA based make-up supervisor Autumn Butler who worked on Hilary Swank's look in the film, The Reaping.
First Fear, a supernatural thriller, tells the story of an ancient Indian kind who is reborn in the present day after 1,000 years. "Some of Jackie's avatars, those of the beggar and high priest, hail from the ancient era. He shows fine lines on his face and has distinguished salt and pepper hair in an African American look. And you can't make out whether he is African or Indian when he plays a toy seller," says Butler, "It boosts your ego when you're shooting with Jackie, with people showering a lot of attention. A part of his glamour also falls on us," jokes the director about his star actor.
While we spot the actor on horseback, crossing glistening beach, we know it's going to be yet another foreign flick based in India full on elephant and snake charmers.
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