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I will never do a film on drugs or any addiction: Tiger Shroff

Underlining his no-zone areas, the Flying Jatt actor said nobody else can do what he can. Read interview.

Photos: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

He’s only a couple of films old, but Tiger Shroff made an instant mark in Hindi cinema with successive hits (Heropanti and Baaghi) early in his career. Jackie Shroff and his son are poles apart, but their humility binds them. So humble is Tiger that he addresses journalists as 'sir' and 'madam'.

Tiger is now ready with his third film, a superhero, hi-flying action drama A Flying Jatt, that is directed by choreographer Remo D’Souza. The actor spoke to a bunch of journalists where he fielded some tough questions from Cinestaan.com. Excerpts from the conversation.

We’ve heard you speak about your character, but can you elaborate again?

A Flying Jatt is a different kind of superhero. He has vertigo so he doesn't fly high. He's a character that is scared. Unlike, say a Krrish, he can't take on a villain head-on. He's also afraid of his mother (true in reality, too). She takes advantage of the fact that her son is a superhero, and makes him do the household chores. As for me, I only clean my room, the rest is taken care of by mother.

Your father played a superhero in Shiva Ka Insaaf. How dear is that film to you?

As a child, there was one cassette that I repeatedly played before I went to sleep and that was Shiva Ka Insaaf (1985). It was a great joy for me to watch my father as a superhero. My favourite superheroes are Shiva, Spiderman and Krrish.

Tiger, you will soon be three-films old. All of them appear to have a set pattern — they are commercial, catering only to the masses. Are you committed to doing only commercial cinema?

I'm very lucky that children are among my fans. So, I often keep these followers in my mind before taking up any project. I strongly feel that these kids are our future. I want to do clean and noble characters. I will never do films on drugs or addiction. I don’t want to have any negative influence on these kids. 

But what about the criticism for your first two films? Critics aren’t yet convinced about your acting skills...

Well, I've always welcomed criticism. This can only help me grow as an actor. I'm always hopeful that one day even the critics can appreciate my work. Probably, 4-5 years down the line I may want to experiment with a few different characters.

How important is film promotion for you?

Same old questions and answers, appearing on the same TV shows... I don’t like promotions. It's not always fun for me, and it is very tiring. I used to feel after shooting one should just go home and sleep. However, the real hardwork is this, when you go out and tell people about your film. After all, who are you working for? The audience. So, I want them to realise what we have done in our film.

Indian superhero films have a strong sense of correlation to mythological characters. Krrish 3 mentions about Ram, Raavan. A Flying Jatt pays respects to the Sikh gurus. Superheroes on television are also based on mythological characters — Bheem, Ganesha. Why do think our superheroes have a strong reference to mythological characters?

Our superheroes needn’t necessarily have references to mythological characters. You’ve raised a good point, but I don't know what I should comment on this.

Commercial cinema thrives on the action or musical genre. So early in your career you’ve managed to cover both and how...

There was an awareness even before my first film. I have no acting skills, and if I wanted to be an actor then I need to do something that makes me stand out from the rest. I want to be accepted for my individuality. Never wanted anyone to say that I’ve got my break because I’m Jackie Shroff’s son. The truth though is that I deliberately took a different road. I wanted to do films that allowed me to express my talent. The things that I do, not many people do. Invariably, by doing so I create an identity of my own.

Controversy generally follows if a film is based on a Sikh character. One group had taken offence to the look of the film. How do you cope with such intense scrutiny?

It is completely fair. After all we are representing them through this film. Remo sir has shown the film to Sikh community representatives and they were satisfied with the film. 

But, as seen in the past, Hindi cinema is guilty of stereotyping Sikhs and often presented them in bad light.  Is that the reason why Sikhs are always sceptical about Bollywood making films on them? 

I don’t know much about the stereotype, but we also make them feel proud. Sunny paaji does a fantastic job as a jatt. Deols are big legends in Punjab. We hope A Flying Jatt will make the Sikhs proud of us. We’re glorifying them in the film. 

What was your first reaction when you learnt Nathan Jones was playing the villain?

I was petrified and told (director) Remo D’Souza not to take him. I have seen his films like Troy and Mad Max: Fury. He’s a big guy, 7-feet tall. I look like a fly in comparison to him. The best thing about Nathan is that being a former wrestler, he’s very good at giving expressions during combats.

From being the chocolate boy, dancer, you are now being called the new serial kisser after your exploits in A Flying Jatt... 

(laughs) Well, this could be a PR stunt by Balaji Motion Pictures. My dad was quoted as saying that he’s kissed many heroines, but never got such a tag. Look, if Balaji has PR with them, then good luck to them.

Can you confirm if you’ve been signed for Student of the Year 2?

I'm fortunate that Karan Johar has chosen me to take the Student of the Year franchise forward. I'm really thrilled to be part of it. Hopefully, I will not let Karan (sir) or the other students down. As of now, I've have signed and there will be two new girls in the film.

Finally, your idol Hrithik Roshan had praised your dancing on twitter. How did that feel?

Well, Hrithik is the original God of dance. His compliments are very special. I’m hoping someone says he and I should be cast together. Imagine A Flying Jatt and Krrish in one film. That would be a dream come true.