After doing back-to-back comedies, Jaaved Jaaferi plays the villain in Abhinav Kashyap’s Besharam
Jaaved Jaaferi is happy he isn’t playing the funny man in Besharam. “I enjoy all sorts of roles, and I appreciate that Abhinav Kashyap broke my existing mould and could perceive me as the bad guy. The last film I did as villain was Boom and before that Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India,” recalls the actor, who made his debut in 1985 in Meri Jung, as the stylish dancing sensation in college — a baddie style not seen before on-screen.
Almost touching three decades in the industry, Jaaved has served some punches — some from the fist, but mostly of the jocular variety, for his audiences. “I did a lot of back-to-back comedies, but Abhinav and I met on the sets of the film called The Forest, where I played a grey character. I believe he saw something in it and then we decided we must work together. In fact, when Abhinav met me he said, ‘Jaaved, you got to play the villain and he is not funny at all.’” Pitted against the young Ranbir Kapoor in Besharam, Jaaved has done his stunts on his own. “It’s all physical combat. We haven’t used any stunt doubles. Falling from heights, jumping, punching and every conceivable action has been done by us,” he says.
In the pipeline
Jaaved has two more interesting films coming up immediately: War Chhod Na Yaar and Jo Bhi Karva Lo. “War Chhod Na Yaar is an intelligently written satire on two warring countries. I play the captain of the Pakistan camp. It’s funny, it’s practical; nothing like what you’ve seen before. Even Jo Bhi Karva Lo is a great film. I play a dangerous spy who has eight to ten disguises in the film, and who sometimes doesn’t even know what his real face is!” says Jaaved.
If there is one thing that this man agonises over it is that some of his films have been ahead of their time. Kaizad Gustad’s Boom, for instance. “It was a good gangster film. It was lambasted then for its abusive and blatant style, but honestly would you believe gangsters speaking in kuttey kaminey lingo? It was branded vulgar, and I was among the few people defending that film. In fact, it was Amitabh Bachchan’s bravest role, the only flaw being that the script went slightly awry.”
Along with brother Naved and actor Ravi Behl, Jaaved used to judge India’s first dance reality competition Boogie Woogie. “Nowadays, dance reality shows deal more with emotions than anything else. That show (Boogie Woogie) had soul,” he says, but is non-committal on re-launching it. “There are some talks on reviving it, but let’s see how that goes.”
Jaaved is currently doing the Hindi dubbing of a children’s television show Ninja Warriors in an echo of his super successful rendition of Takeshi’s Castle. His production company, Maxim Media, which has produced documentaries such as Inshallah, Kashmir and the national award-winning Inshallah, Football is now producing BMW, an English language thriller on encounter cops. Besides himself, it stars Chandan Roy Sanyal, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Adil Hussain. He will also be seen in the Hrithik-Katrina-starrer Bang Bang.