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Updated: April 8, 2014 17:40 IST

Another son rises

Harshikaa Udasi
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Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon co-star in Heropanti
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Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon co-star in Heropanti

From its first look, Heropanti appears to be a love-action story which gives Tiger Shroff, son of Jackie Shroff, the perfect launch pad

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai (director, Hero) possibly summed it up best. “He is just like his father,” he said, pointing at the father-son duo on the dais, “He was shy, he is shy. He was honest, he is honest. He was politically incorrect, he is politically incorrect. He went on for 30 years in the industry, he will too.” The men being referred to were Jackie Shroff and his son, Tiger Shroff and the occasion was the launch of the trailer of Tiger’s debut film Heropanti (May 23) to be produced under Sajid Nadiadwala’s banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and directed by Sabbir Khan (earlier Kambakkht Ishq).

It was by no means a launch to be ignored for no less than Aamir Khan had come to endorse the youngsters (actress Kriti Sanon, who has done Nenokkadine with Mahesh Babu this year, is also being introduced in the film). Aamir said, “Years ago, Reena (Aamir’s first wife) and I had gone for the annual function of Besant Montessori where my son Junaid used to study and I was very impressed with the acting skills of one of the boys. It was only later that I found out that it was Tiger! In fact, in the other play, I saw a girl with exceptional acting talent and found out she was Krishna Shroff (Tiger’s sister who is reportedly making her debut in films later). I think the best thing about Tiger is that he is very focussed and dedicated. I think the industry will have a new superstar in him.”

Twenty-three-year-old Tiger, who claimed to be nervous at his first media interaction, actually displayed quite a bit of confidence, fielding questions ranging from his decision to become an actor to his ‘girlfriends’ with élan. “Honestly, I didn’t want to be an actor. I was happy doing my fitness and martial arts training but family and friends, and especially peers, kept asking me this question, ‘So Tiger, when is your big debut?’ And I kept getting offers. It was almost like I was labelled an actor even before I was one. I am not at all saying that I am not happy to be here today but that’s the story of how I got here,” he smiled. “I thought about what it was that I could bring to the movies with me. I am blessed with a good physique, my martial arts’ training is good and I am a fairly good dancer. Just glad that Sajid (Nadiadwala) gave me the chance to bring all these facets to the screen.” Elaborating on his non-existent love life, he said, “I am not cool enough, I think. It’s sad that I have no girlfriend, never have had. So if I look convincing as a romantic on screen, it only means that I am a good actor,” he said sheepishly.

From its first look, Heropanti appears to be a love-action story which gives Tiger the perfect launch pad (think enough opportunities to show the six-pack, the charming smile, dialogue baazi, amazing fight scenes and the like). It even carries the flute piece from his father’s original Hero (1983) which propelled Jackie to stardom. Asked about his state of mind when Hero had released over three decades ago, Jackie said, “I don’t know I was sleeping till quite late when some people came and asked me why and I asked, ‘So, what should I do?’”, leaving the audience in splits. Asked if the father would be sleeping without a care even on his son’s big Friday, he smiled, “I don’t know. Depends on how early I have slept the previous night!” Clearly Jackie was a proud father but he made light of the emotional moment. “I don’t know what to say. He is my bachcha (child), both of them (referring to Kriti), and bhaari kaam kiyela hai (Jackie’s trademark Mumbai tapori style for ‘they have done good work’).” Producer Sajid Nadiadwala also added, “Years ago, Jackie and I were playing football and he told me that he’d send Tiger to me for training in soccer. And today I stand to release his first trailer!”

When asked if he would be able to deal with the inevitable comparisons with his father, Tiger said, “I am not thinking about it now. I’d rather not. They are two different films and I don’t have the charisma, the style, the walk, the talk and even the height my dad has! I’d be thrilled if I can be half the man that he is.”

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