More than just a good guy

New image:Jimmy Shergill doesn’t want to have a ‘lover-boy’ persona.  

Jimmy Shergill is not an actor you’d associate with a masala film, one that’s replete with song and dance and item numbers. The 48-year-old actor had decided very early on his career to distance himself from the ‘lover boy’ persona that came with Mohabbatein. “I wasn’t very happy because something was telling me that this [image] is not going to last,” says the actor in a chat with The Hindu. “Just doing those songs and [playing] good guys will not make a difference. I had to pick projects that were out of the box.” Consequently, Shergill has been part of projects like Haasil (2003), Yahaan (2005), Munnabhai MBBS (2003), A Wednesday (2008) and Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster (2011). “The idea was to keep breaking your image every now and then,” says the actor.

Going mainstream

In the same vein is Shergill’s upcoming Family Of Thakurganj, that releases this tomorrow. It’s a quintessentially commercial potboiler, ticking off all the right boxes for Shergill. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia’s long-time associate, Manoj K. Jha the film has been penned by Dabangg writer, Dilip Shukla. Along with Shergill, the cast includes Mahie Gill, Saurabh Shukla, Nandish Singh and Supriya Pilgaonkar among others. Set in the fictitious town of Thakurganj, the film is about a family: while half are law-abiding, the others prefer to take the law in their own hands. This is where Sheirgill’s character, Nannu, comes in. “There’s humour that comes in the way that this guy is a gunda outside but inside the house, their family is very close knit despite not agreeing with each other’s ways,” explains the actor adding that producer Ajay Kumar Singh wanted a film with a bang. Composers Sajid-Wajid along with singers like Mika Singh only accentuate the flavour of the film.

“The idea was to make a film which was realistic yet commercial,” says Shergill. “We shot the entire film in UP and had a great time. I want to be a part of these kind films [in addition to] the serious ones. When you know the sensibilities of the director, what kind of films he’s been associated with, you know the kind of film he’s going to make.”

Building rapport

Having worked in the past with seasoned directors such as Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aanand L. Rai and Rajkumar Hirani, Shergill has no qualms about working with up-and-coming or new filmmakers. “Even when a new director comes to me, I hear the narration or go through the script and then make up my mind,” he says, emphasising that a good script and the role presented to him take precedence over everything else “[Only] then I think about whether these guys will be able to complete the film or not, is there a producer backing this film or not. Sometimes people have said that they have very little to offer in terms of remuneration, but I’ve said yes if I feel I’m going to have fun shooting a film. I’ve ended up doing a whole lot of these smaller films as well,” he shares.

The actor also feels that the synergy between a director and an actor becomes better as they keep working together. Take for instance, his work with Dhulia and Anurag Kashyap, both filmmakers that Shergill is keen to collaborate with again. “When you do a second film with the director, that’s when something even better comes out,” he says. “I’ve always been saying that I started my journey with Gulzar saab and I want to do a film with him once again.”

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 5:52:19 AM |

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