Meeting Jimmy Shergill is about meeting an actor in the Hindi film industry whose voice and style are overbearing and imperious. In this rainy season, while we were waiting for Jimmy in Bhaskar’s office, the same images of the characters of films like ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Sahab, Biwi Aur Gangster’, ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Mukkabaaz’ were flashing in our mind. But as soon as he came, a sweet smile immediately broke this image.
Excerpts from a tête-à-tête with Jimmy:
The first question was about Jimmy’s early days and memories of acting
Jimmy said– I did B.Com first, then wanted to do MBA. But aunt’s (bua’s) son said – you should try acting. You can do an MBA later also. I did a self-analysis and went to Mumbai. Joined Roshan Taneja’s class there. During this time, I got a chance in ‘Machis’. Then I worked in ‘Mohabbatein’. This is how my journey started.
You left your loverboy and chocolaty image and started doing gray characters …?
Jimmy– After Mohabbatein everyone wanted to see me in the same role. I didn’t think I was a chocolatey face. I thought of doing different characters with different shades. Such as ‘Haasil’, ‘Munnabhai’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Sahab Biwi Aur Gangster’. All these characters are in people’s minds till today.
We talked about the film stories, scripts, new directors such as Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anand L. Rai.
Jimmy said – I ask for bound scripts and read the entire script. Only by reading the script can you think of the character. Although these directors have relied on me a lot. So sometimes there is also the temptation to work only with a good film or director. Was able to do films like ‘Munnabhai’ in this way.
On a question related to the dreams of young men of small towns, Jimmy said – I wanted to go to the army when I was studying in school. I feel very attached to the soldiers. I could not pass the examination and couldn’t enroll in the army. It is reassuring when I play the role of the police or army. Like the film ‘Yahan’. The film seems very close to me emotionally. Sometimes I wonder why many youths of our cities do not think of joining the army services.
(Interview by Rahul Jadhav)