Celebrity Interview: Jackie Shroff

By Prashant K. Nanda, Indo-Asian News ServiceimageNew Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Jackie Shroff is still going strong. Not content with his work over the past two decades, the veteran actor says he’s ready to experiment with more characters.

“As an actor I have been experimenting over the last two decades. And whatever I achieved during this period is not enough. To grow as an actor I have to work more,” said Jackie, who was here to attend a fashion show.

Jaggu dada, as he is popularly known, seems to be inspired by the Big B, whose array of roles has stunned fans and colleagues alike.

“Look at Amitabh Bachchan. Amitji is considered a great actor because of his variety, experimentation. And as a lesson from him, I must work harder as there is a lot to do in my career,” Jackie told IANS

Jackie feels Bollywood has changed a lot today and the real challenge for an actor is to do justice to the character he is playing. Hence he has no qualms about playing character roles and not lead roles.

“Lead roles are now all about dancing, singing and fighting. The real challenge is to bring a character alive and I am happy to be a part of the mature group. I played an alcoholic in ‘Devdas’ and the audience’s response was amazing. Then ‘Mission Kashmir’ and ‘Yadein’- they were all experimentation,” he said.

His upcoming movies include director Rituparno Ghosh’s Bengali film “Antar Mahal” releasing Oct 28, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Eklavya”, releasing early next year, “Mera Dil Leke Dekho” and “Kyon Ki”.

And true to form, Shroff is essaying a wide range of characters.

In “Antar Mahal”, set in feudal Bengal, he plays a wicked Zamindar (landlord). And though he couldn’t speak Bengali, Shroff picked up the language while shooting and then dubbed his dialogues. In “Kyon Ki”, he plays a psychiatrist. In “Eklavya”, he is co-starring with Amitabh Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan.

“Whether as a zamindar or a doctor, my aim was to explore new avenues,” he added.

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