There was a time when Jackie Shroff was part of every Subhash Ghai film. Then, something went wrong between the master and the muse.
But today is Ghai's birthday, and the showman will announce a film with his blue-eyed boy Jackie in a meaty role. Money Money Money (working title) will be produced by Mukta Arts and directed by Sangeet Sivan.
Aa ab laut chalein
Jackie last worked with Ghai in Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, which sank without a trace. How does the actor feel about returning to his roots? "I had never been out of Ghai's camp. It's just that he didn't have the right role for me.
How can Ghai cast me in every film? We have always kept in touch. Ghai saab is family to me and Mukta Arts my second home. I am thrilled to be working with him again."
Bhidu in a stylised role
Explaining how Money, Money, Money happened, a beaming Jackie says, "Sangeet called me and said that he had the role of a lifetime for me. I met him, loved the part and had no reason to say no. Thereafter, I met Ghai saab in Delhi." However, Shroff is reluctant to spill the beans on his character. "It's a very stylised role, like a tiger. I think they should call me Tiger in the film," he laughs.
Sivan directed Jackie's Sandhya, which was never released. But the director has gotten over that. "That's a different story; it's behind us. Working with Jackie will be fun.
Sandhya was not released because of Jackie's financial problems. It has nothing to do with Money Money Money," says Sivan, whose last venture, Kya Kool Hain Hum (for Ekta Kapoor), did very well at the box-office.
Full date diary
Jackie, whose career hit a low recently, is resurfacing with good roles. Next, the actor will be seen in Antar Mahal, where he plays a zamindar. "After that, I have Priyadarshan's Kyon Ki, where I play a doctor in a mad house. Then there's Divorce (with Mandira Bedi), Mera Dil Leke Dekho, Lucky Kohli's film with Sarika and Lilette Dubey and Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya, where I play Boman Irani's younger brother, Jyoti Vardhan."
Two decades as an actor
Shroff played second fiddle to Aamir Khan in Rangeela, Nana Patekar (Agni Sakshi) and Sanjay Dutt (Khalnayak). "People loved me in those roles. I have never been apprehensive about experimenting. I was even liked for my villainous roles in Farz and Mission Kashmir, not to forget Devdas. I've survived in the acting profession for 23 years.
So many actors have come and gone, but I am still here, ain't I? I am here to stay," he says, clenching his fist. "My best is yet to come bhidu. I am also in talks with Anupam Kher for one of his productions."