Some actors are known for their superb acting skills, some for their dashing looks and some for their distinct style. Jackie Shroff or Jaggu da as he is affectionately called by his close ones and his fans is known for all three of these things! In an exclusive conversation with Nation Next Jackie Shroff speaks about his style, his son Tiger and his relationships with people in Bollywood.
You have played different kind of roles over the years. From a dashing actor in Hero to Aamir Khan’s father in Dhoom 3. But over all these years your distinct style and charm has remained intact. How have you maintained that?
There’s nothing to maintain. I’m just natural and I’ve always been natural in what I do. It’s my style which has been unique right from Hero till now. And that style will be there no matter what role I play and what film I do.
Along with numerous Hindi films, you have done quite a few Marathi films as well. Will we see you doing more of Marathi cinema in the near future?
I’m waiting for a nice role yaar. I want to do Marathi films but I’m getting fed up of the typical roles. I had a strong role in the 2009 Marathi film Rita. I’m looking for a role where I can project myself. There’s so much of me inside which wants to do something different. Kua hain bidu, kua se pani nikalte aane chahiye bas!
When Heropanti was released, Tiger became a rage of sorts. But then there came a lull period in his career. Do you advise him regarding his career?
He’s relaxed and chilled out. He’s absolutely at ease; people still go bananas about him. I don’t need to give him any advice as we don’t give advices in our household. And I don’t feel there’s any lull period and the crazy fan following on his social media page is a proof of that.
You come across as the ‘coolest dad’. Do you share a very friendly relationship with Tiger?
Yes of course. He shares everything with me. I’m a buddy to him and I’ll always remain a buddy. He’s just always concerned about me and tells me to look after my health and exercise.
You have always had a great rapport with almost everybody in Bollywood. Mr Subhash Ghai once said that he can never say a ‘no’ to you. In the past as well you have done films just because of your relationships with people without even looking at the script. Do you still follow the principle?
My mind is absolutely flexible. If my friends want me to be a part of their films and they feel that my existence in their film will be in their interest, I’ll do the film. I don’t know how it’ll benefit them but if they feel it, I do it. If I say a ‘no’ then I’m actually in a way destroying the hope and trust the person has on me. The role may be bad, some critics may pan it but I don’t care about that. All I care is that my friend should know that he called me just once and I went ahead to help him. He should know that his friend stood for him when he needed it. There are times when people have told me, ‘What the fuck are you doing? Why are you destroying yourself?’ But for me, it’s just that I don’t want to destroy the trust I share with my friends. Fortunately, no one’s come with a bad role ever. They have all come with different, strong and fantastic roles.
You have this propensity of charming everybody. You always oblige everybody in an industry where there are a lot of pulls and pressures. You have always been the ‘Bada dilwala’ actor. Where does all this energy come from?
By knowing that I’m not going to be in this world forever! By knowing that my brother and parents all came and left me, all the people I loved deeply from my heart. When you lose people so close to you, you come to know that, nothing really stays, nothing is permanent and that boosts your energy levels higher as you want to live your life to the fullest because as it is you’re going to die someday!
So, no regrets in life?
Are bidu ek chawl thi, ek bathroom tha aur dus log line me lagte the. Aaj teen bathroom hain ghar me, kidhar bhi ja sakta hu main!
You come from a school of thought where interpersonal relationships mattered a lot and were the cornerstone in Bollywood. Things have changed over the years and everything has become overtly materialistic even when it’s about supporting anybody. How do you find this scenario since you’re such a bada dilwala actor?
Kalyug aahe! You should do what you want to do without thinking of others and about changing the world. It’s a materialistic and professional world. These days’ people charge for interviews as well! If I put all the things which I’m telling you in my autobiography, it will have a novelty but still I’m telling you all the things I feel and my experiences.
You got into production as well. Do you think you can get into production again with a non-materialistic approach that you’ve always had?
It’s impossible to do it for me. I can’t be a producer. I can be a documentary maker on different issues or as a public service announcer (Ex: Swacch Bharat) though.