There seems to be a pattern in Bollywood’s ever-dependable actor Jimmy Sheirgill’s on-screen persona: he rarely gets to walk away with the woman of his dreams.
His new comedy ‘Jhootha Kahin Ka’, out in the UAE on July 18, is unlikely to improve his dismal dating scenario in movies.
He plays Tommy Bhaiyaa, a gun-toting Bihari mobster, in this whacky comedy of errors about two boisterous university students (Omkaar Kapoor and Sunny Singh) studying in Mauritius and how an overbearing parent (Rishi Kapoor) disturb their wild, hedonistic lifestyle.
Point out this disturbing trend to Sheirgill and he goes: “It has become a big inside joke now.”
Chuckling at his own abysmal courtship record on the big screen, he continues: “Even if I get the girl, they want to chuck her off. Let me tell you, not getting a girl in a film is not my prerogative, but the director and the writers’ who seem to want it that way now.”
While Sheirgill, who’s happily married in real life, may not be lucky in love on celluloid, he’s got a solid body of work behind him. In films such as the critically-acclaimed terrorism thriller ‘A Wednesday’, in which he played a non-nonsense cop, or the more recent romantic comedy, ‘De De Pyaar De’ starring Tabu, in which he played a smarmy boyfriend, Sheirgill always delivers his bit.
“I try my level best to bring as much sincerity to my role or character… You don’t have to overthink it though. There are times when you crave to do a bit of buffoonery or act in an out-and-out commercial film. As an actor I don’t want to regret not trying something new after ten years down the line,” said Sheirgill.
The actor, 48, describes director Smeep Kang’s ‘JKK’ as a well-crafted, intelligent comedy with several shades of humour that’s will appeal to young, old and those in-between.
“For some comedies, you may say that you need to leave your brains at home… But you need to use your brains to enjoy our Jhootha Kahin Ka or grasp what’s happening around us. It’s not a mindless slapstick comedy where you don’t use your mental faculties. Remember that many are getting dark humour in realistic, plot-driven films like Tanu Weds Manu. So we need to be smart about our comedies that we make today.”
While Sheirgill has survived and thrived in Bollywood for over two decades with a robust mix of memorable and mediocre films, the self-made star believes that the audiences cannot be fooled anymore with lame content.
“I have never messed with an audience’s head … My pure intent is that people should relate to my character and therefore I am always sincere and honest towards my role.”
While Sheirgill may be mighty scrupulous about his motives and towards his acting job, his hands have been burnt several times.
“Things were promised to me by filmmakers. For example, they will tell me that a particular shot will be filmed in real locations, real space. But very soon you will find out that those scenes will happen in some studio. For a scene to look authentic, you can never do patchwork in a place in Maharashtra to make it look like Punjab. It’s never going to look the same. You may feel let down at that point, but I never let it affect the way I play my character.” Without naming and shaming, the actor believes that his job is also about managing expectations on what’s promised and what’s finally delivered.
While disappointments were aplenty, it’s the prospect of being a part of good films with actors that he grew up idolising that makes him tick.
Kapoor, who’s currently undergoing cancer treatment in New York, plays a pivotal role in this situational comedy.
“It was amazing to work with him. We used to laugh a lot … He had this poker face and that used to crack us up. I feel lucky to have worked with actors whose films that I grew up watching… I feel lucky to be here.”
Don’t miss it
‘Jootha Kahin Ka’ is out in the UAE on July 18.
“You do have a moral responsibility as an actor to choose the right roles. But who will come and play a negative roles then? Actors have to play our parts… You cannot generalise such topics. I got a lot of flak for playing someone so evil in ‘Mukkabaaz’. But I was just doing my job. That villain had to be powerful for the hero to shine and look better,” said Sheirgill weighing in on the Kabir Singh debate and whether actors have the moral responsibility to choose the right kind of roles.
Did you know?
Former adult star Sunny Leone plays a role in ‘Jhoohta Kahin Ka’ and is the object of desire of the two young men.