Jimmy Shergill, who was out of action for some time due to ill-health, is happy to be back with Special 26

Jimmy Shergill’s spirit is unbeatable. The actor had an almost year-long break from April 2011, when he was diagnosed with extreme D3 deficiency which confined him to bed, but he refuses to be cowed down. “It was mainly because I was addicted to coffee; almost 10-12 cups a day and also because I was working out immensely without any supplements. My bones had become very brittle and I had difficulty walking as it was diagnosed at a very late stage. In about eight months I recovered but my work got stalled. Vikram’s (Bhatt) Dangerous Ishq (2012) was a very important film for me because he called me and told me to get out of home and work. It shook me up and took a lot of energy, but I am glad I did it. The final 20 per cent of the recovery process is still on but this takes the longest and I am sure I will be back to form soon,” says Jimmy with a smile that’s hoping to reach his eyes.

Heist drama

Jimmy’s Special 26 has just released and he says that it is a special role to play in a film that boasts of a talented ensemble cast. “Neeraj is a friend and I have read all his scripts, including the ones I was not part of or which didn’t get made. It’s not a given that I’ll be part of every film of his, but I am thankful that he gave me a choice between the two cops in A Wednesday, and even in Special 26 he has given me a totally different cop to play. He is very clear about what he wants and said that he was giving me Ranveer (Jimmy’s character in Special 26) because he is poles apart from Aarif (of A Wednesday),” says the actor. Jimmy plays Senior Inspector Ranveer Singh in this heist drama that is filmed in 1980s Mumbai. “Ranveer is totally vocal and he wants to seek revenge as he gets totally rattled by this group of con men,” says the actor.

Jimmy says he disagrees that the film industry has not given him his due. “I know where I came from. I hadn’t studied acting. I have always been a religious person but during my first film Maachis I was so nervous that I would frequent the Gurudwara and ask for just one thing, ‘Please don’t let people laugh at my acting.’ I have learnt from life and from just being around. Lots of new-age directors are providing better and better platforms for actors nowadays.”

The actor has four back-to-back releases now. Post Special 26, there is Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns with Irrfan Khan and Mahie Gill (March), Punjabi film Rangeelay with Neha Dhupia (May) and Bullet Raja with Saif and Sonakshi (September).