Though he doesn't yet have big hits to his name, Jimmy Shergill has always been appreciated for most of his roles, including cameos in Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and its sequel. The actor dismisses his forgettable past and talks about his upcoming films, the first one being Victoria No.203.
Q: How was the experience of working in the remake of Victoria No.203?
A: The original film was made by Kamal Sadana's father Brijmohan Sadana. So I do not think that Kamal did anything wrong by making a remake of it. He has modernized the film to suit the tastes of today's audience and the characters have been beautifully etched out. Each one is different from the other. I share a good rapport with the director of the film, Anant Mahadevan. When he approached me for this film I agreed because I like this film.
Q: So have you seen the original?
A: I remember seeing this film when I was young. When I was offered the film, I thought of watching the whole movie so that I had an idea about it beforehand. But Kamal and Anantji stopped me from doing so. They did not want me to get inspired by my character in the original film. They wanted freshness in my character keeping shades of the original character intact.
Q: How different is your character form the original one?
A: My character is completely different from the original one. You will see many shades in my character. I cannot tell you more than this now.
Q: Then tell us about the experience of working with newcomer Sonia Kapoor.
A: She is a good actress. I must say that she had done a lot of preparation for this role, be it riding a carriage, dancing or acting. She has tried to put in her best in whatever she did. On the very first day, we shot the sequence where I was sitting in the carriage and she had to ride it. I was surprised to see her ride it with ease through busy streets.
Q: Your film Wednesday is ready for release. Tell us about it.
A: The suspense thriller is Neeraj Pandey's film. I play an ATC officer, and as the movie's name suggests, the story revolves around a few incidents on Wednesday. The film also stars Naseruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. It will release in September.
Q: What are you doing nowadays?
A: At present, I'm in Delhi . My Hindi film Strangers is being screened here along with films in the Japanese, Malaysian and Korean languages. It is a proud moment for me.
Q: Are Dum Dum Diga Diga, Love In Kashmir, BBD, Pratiksha, Khafa and Dus Kahaniyaan your upcoming releases?
A: Dum Dum Diga Diga and Love In Kashmir are films which I signed when I was new into acting. Those films have been shelved and I do not want to talk about them. BBD is an interesting film and I'm working with Kay Kay Menon in it. Basu Chatterjee has directed Pratiksha and this film was made for the Sahara channel. They were planning a world premiere of it on Sahara. Diya Mirza is cast opposite me in it. Khafa, directed by Devang Dholakia and produced by Dilip Handa, is complete. In Sanjay Gupta's Dus Kahaniyaan, I am doing a 10-minute story called High On The Highway where a girl, played by Masumeh, gets stranded on a highway.
Q: Does it hurt that your entire effort goes waste when a film gets shelved or stuck?
A: Yes, it does, but what can I do. Anyways, I do not like to think about the past. I want to move ahead in life. I do not waste my time thinking about those films.
Q: You had done a Punjabi film too?
A: Yes, I did. I'm a sardar and I feel that being a Punjabi I should do Punjabi films first. Apart from Hindi, I keep doing Punjabi films every other year. I have signed Manmohan Singh Maji's yet-to-be-titled film. He is called the Yash Chopra of Punjabi films and I know him since the time of Maachis, in which he was the cameraman.
Q: Your films do not work well at the box-office but yet you get appreciation for your acting skills. Would you like to comment?
A: See, when a film does not do well at the box-office, it is not only because of the actors, there are other reasons too. I'm happy that I have been appreciated for my acting be it in a lead role or a cameo or as a positive or a negative character. I have always done my work honestly.
Q: Any specific character that you wish to play in the future?
A: I love comedy films like Tom, Dick and Harry. I have recently signed Faizal's comedy film Bachelor's Party which will be directed by Nishant Trivedi.
-Rajnee Gupta (SAMPURN)