His contemporaries, such as Sunny Deol and Anil Kapoor, still play lead roles in their films and juggle busy work schedules. But once-upon-a-superstar Jackie Shroff has no qualms about having stayed away from the limelight. He is now, however, staging a bit of a comeback. Having been appreciated for his role in the latest Yash Raj Films release, Aurangzeb, he talks about his upcoming cameo in Dhoom:3 and Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyaan.
Do you feel the need to be ambitious, given that your contemporaries are still doing meaty lead roles?
I don’t think of such trivial things or act so petty. I’m enjoying my life. I believe in being happy with my work, and it has nothing to do with what some other person is doing. There is more to life than work. I’m getting good offers and I’m happy doing those. I have acted in over 180 films. So if I don’t get good roles now, I’m happy just watching the sunset.
In your last big film, Veer (2010), you played a negative character. You’ve done it again now. Is this a preference?
I look for strong roles that make an impact. It could be a character role, a negative or a positive one. Even today, people recall my role in Devdas (2002) or the one in Veer. I have a good body of work, a good personality and voice. Even today, when I am in any scene, I get noticed. This year, I have six releases, which is more than enough. I’m enjoying life and satisfied with the work I get. Why should I run after more?
What’s keeping you busy currently?
I am working a lot. I just wrapped up a film called Zaalim Dilli and have signed Satish Kaushik’s Gangs of Ghost. I have a day’s work left for my cameo in Dhoom:3 and then I have Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyaan. I enjoyed the cameo I did for Shootout At Wadala. Ekta (Kapoor) felt I was the only person who could have played the role of a police commissioner. It was good to work with the team in the film.
Not much is known about your role in Dhoom:3.
Yes, I am bound by contract, so I can’t reveal anything. All I can say is that it’s a good cameo and a powerful role. I hope people will enjoy it.
What’s your role in Kochadaiyaan?
I play the villain in the film. I was amazed to shoot with the 48-camera setup. It was a first for me. The makers have used motion capture technology with both animation and real characters on screen. That was a learning experience. I met Rajini after years and found him to be the same person.
What are your lesser-known interests?
I’m into bee culture and preserving seeds. I enjoy farming too, which I do at my friend’s farm in Mahabaleshwar. I am also planning to work for the cause of water conservation.
Do you think Tiger (who debuts with Heropanti next year) is ambitious and driven?
Everything depends on the upbringing. He has observed my passion towards my work over the years. He is a very disciplined person and
respectful of other people.
Do you visit him on the sets?
No, never. Usually, it is the mothers of heroines who accompany their daughters on the sets; fathers of heroes never do. Tiger has never asked me to come visit and I don’t want to go either. I am in touch with him over the phone. I will watch the film when it’s ready.
What was it like to work with Rishi Kapoor in Aurangzeb?
Till date, I have done two films with Chintuji (Rishi Kapoor), but in both movies, we didn’t have a single scene together. One of them was a south film which we did many years ago. It also starred Rekha. The second one is Aurangzeb. I told director Atul Sabharwal to put at least one scene, even a passing shot of Chintuji and me, but there was no scope. But I am very happy for him and the way his career is going currently.