Buzz By The Way: Jackie Shroff: 'I Like People, I Love People… I Like To Hold Them'

Buzz By The Way: Jackie Shroff: 'I Like People, I Love People… I Like To Hold Them'

A nostalgic trip down memory lane with actor Jackie Shroff, who completes 40 years in Bollywood and turns a year older on February 1

Anushka JagtianiUpdated: Saturday, January 27, 2024, 10:22 PM IST
article-image
Jackie Shroff |

It’s been four decades since Jackie Shroff, fondly called Jaggu dada, entered showbiz. And, he is still ruling hearts with his latest Amazon Prime release Mast Mein Rehne Ka, co-starring Neena Gupta.

In an exclusive conversation with The Free Press Journal, the actor takes a trip down memory lane, recounting his early years in a humble chawl in Mumbai’s Teen Batti area. While reflecting on his four decades in Bollywood, Jackie also opens up about his passion for environmental causes, highlighting his tree-planting initiative and the charitable causes he fervently supports.

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your latest release, Mast Mein Rehne Ka. How was it reuniting with Neena Gupta. 

Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta in Mast Mein Rehne Ka

Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta in Mast Mein Rehne Ka |

I loved it because my techies were so good, my director was brilliant. My writers handled me so beautifully. I gel really well with Neenaji. She’s a great lady and I always respected her as an artiste. To blend with her is something out of this world. We have done a short film called Khujli and after that, we got a chance now. Then you have Abhishek Chauhan and Monika Panwar – both mind-altering. We were like one little family on the set.

How would you compare acting in Bollywood blockbusters to films on OTT?

Both are nice. Both have their own qualities. I am juggling between all. The emotions don’t change, even if the platforms do. It could be a street play, puppeteers, theatre, cinema, TV, or OTT — it could be anything, but the emotions don’t change.

What do you miss about the 80s and 90s era?

I don’t miss anything. I just miss my mama, daddy, brother and friends. I have good memories of places that I used to walk around. Like the Irani place that my papa used to take me every morning, in front of my house. I miss those things. I like people, I love people… I like to hold them. I don’t like to be away from them.

You are a people person. Have you always been like that?

Yes. Being born in a chawl, in a place where we were all together... 35 people in one block, in small cubes and standing in a line to use the washroom, having balti baths… all this made me humble and helped me stay down to earth.

Can you narrate a story from your days in the chawl that had an impact on you?

There was always a queue for the bathroom in the mornings because there were just three bathrooms for seven kholis with up to seven-eight people in one kholi. Everyone was rushing to get ready for work. I was modelling those days and stood in line like everyone else. Then I became a hero, but I would still stand in line. However, the residents objected and said, “Jaggu hero ban gaya, usko ek bathroom de do”. They gave me one bathroom and even put a lock on it. I refused to accept it because it would be inconvenient for the others but they insisted. They said producers come to meet you, thus you should have your own bathroom. That was such a huge sacrifice for them to make.

You continued to live in the chawl even after becoming an actor?

Yes, for four years I continued to live there.

Which of your movies is closest to your heart?

King Uncle. It’s about a man who hates kids, but he ends up adopting a child. You have senior citizens who live in old age homes, who are abandoned, there are kids also who are abandoned. If you open your eyes, you can see their grief. We have to look around and stop looking at ourselves. The film had a fantastic message, to adopt and care for these abandoned children.

RECENT STORIES

Mythical Showdown: Who's The Real Ninth Avatar Of Lord Vishnu - Buddha Or Pandurang?

Mythical Showdown: Who's The Real Ninth Avatar Of Lord Vishnu - Buddha Or Pandurang?

Want To Become An Author? These Tips Will Help You Accomplish Your Dreams

Want To Become An Author? These Tips Will Help You Accomplish Your Dreams

Sonal Motla Talks About Sheikh’s Karwaan Odyssey

Sonal Motla Talks About Sheikh’s Karwaan Odyssey

How Aware Are You About The Dashavatar?

How Aware Are You About The Dashavatar?

The Rise of Kalki: What You Need to Know About the Final Avatar of Vishnu!

The Rise of Kalki: What You Need to Know About the Final Avatar of Vishnu!