Jimmy Shergill will soon be seen in the film Aazam. Directed by Shravan Tiwari, it also stars Abhimanyu Singh and Indraneil Sengupta and will hit screens on May 19. The Free Press Journal caught up with Jimmy for an exclusive tête-à-tête. Excerpts:
What is your character in the film?
In the film, I am playing the role of Javed, who is close to the most powerful don of the city. Javed’s character is very complex, negative aspects will also be seen. I wanted to portray the mind-set and mood of this character on screen. I had a lot of fun portraying it.
What is the story of Aazam?
Aazam is mainly the story of Mumbai's underworld. One night, something unexpected happens in Mumbai's underworld in which the whole system, underworld, political system as well as police are shaken. Nobody knows why these shocking events are happening.
There is a very interesting story with this film. Earlier when this film was offered to me and I was told that the film would be shot in some 30 to 35 nights, I had refused it because of the night shoot. I do not like to shoot at night as it is purely connected to health. I like to read scripts in my free time. After a few days, I started reading Aazam's script and I found it very interesting. I read the whole script and then called my manager to tell the director if no else has been cast, I would definitely like to do this film. I wanted to be associated with this film in any way as I am a thriller person and the script was very intriguing.
You have been here for almost three decades. How do you look at your journey?
I still want to be relevant and a promising actor like people felt when I had made my acting debut. They should want to work with you. It’s very important to keep moving with the times. We learn through children also. I am flexible and I am not stuck up to certain things.
Do you think you didn’t get the dues you deserved?
I take this as a compliment. I don’t think much about all of this. I don’t look back but I want to go forward in life. Chalna chalana toh audience ke haath mein hota hai.
Can you elaborate?
I will tell you what I think, after Mohabbatein, I worked day and night for the next two years. In those two years, I realised that my image in the industry and media has become that of a chocolate boy, and then I started choosing films in which my character is strong. I worked in films like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Haasil, A Wednesday and Tanu Weds Manu. These films were successful at the box office and my characters were also well liked. Thus my chocolate boy image broke and people understood he can be an angry man as well. But when I was switching, people would advise me not to do so. I did feel insecure but today, I am happy I broke my typecast image of being a chocolate boy.
Will we see you working with YRF again?
I have not worked with YRF for quite some time. They are all very close to me. If they feel I suit any particular character, they will call me.
Do you think today’s cinema is not star driven?
I have always been telling you that cinema is content driven. Script is the hero. But at the same time you cannot take the stardom away. Super stars are the main factor for their fans as they come to watch them.