Interview

Both Indians and Pakistanis will enjoy Happy Bhag Jayegi: Jimmy Shergill


The actor said that the film had nothing to do with India-Pakistan relations in terms of politics.

Photos: Shutterbugs Images

Keyur Seta

Happy Bhag Jayegi will be the third film where a girl dumps Jimmy Shergill’s character. The first two were directed by Aanand L Rai, while this one is produced by him. In a friendly chat with Cinestaan.com, the actor got candid about his character, the sequel of Tom Dick And Harry and shares his thoughts on regional cinema.

In both the Tanu Weds Manu movies, the girl leaves you. The same happens in Happy Bhag Jayegi. Don’t you think people will draw parallels between both roles?
No, my role is very different in this film. I am very excited to see what happens on the 19 August (release date) because I have played a very different kind of character. It was a role where I was required to have fun. If we had looked at the character seriously, toh gadbad ho jaati. That’s the reason why people are finding the character and his way of doing the ‘Yara O Yara’ dance steps funny. The character of Bagga is such that all of a sudden something strikes him. Apart from the film, people will enjoy watching this character. I personally feel that after few scenes, people will laugh every time he comes on screen. This was our intention. 

What was your reaction when you came to know that once again you will have to play a character who gets dumped by a girl?
We didn’t think of this before. It was only after watching the trailer that we realised ki isme bhi bhag gayi! Then we thought it’s good that she runs away at the start itself, so there is no stress in the end. During the making of the film we only thought that it’s an interesting character and it is necessary to handle it while having fun. 

You have danced on ‘Yara O Yara’ in this film. Are you a Sunny Deol fan in real life?
Oh yes, definitely! I gained an interest in Hindi films because of Sunny Deol and Sanju baba (Sanjay Dutt). I used to watch their films when I was in school. Each Sunday we used to go for an outing with cousins to watch movies. Our whole day used to get spent because the closest cinema hall from our place was 25 kilometres away. If there were two big films, we used to see both. Sunny paaji and Sanju baba had this action hero image and they used to come up with new styles or trends every time. 

Do the makers of Happy Bhag Jayegi intend to show India-Pakistan relations in a positive light?
It has nothing to do with India-Pakistan relations in terms of politics. Its only intention is that people from both sides of the border should laugh equally. It’s a just a line that Happy crosses by mistake. 

After both Tanu Weds Manu movies and Happy Bhag Jayegi, do you think you are slowly becoming a specialist in comedy?
I would love to do more. It’s not that I don’t get offered such films, but there has to be something new. There was this newness in HBJ and the character. Everything was so connected and defined in this film. Thankfully, we laughed a lot during rehearsals, so there wasn’t a problem on the sets. I have this problem of laughing on loop if I find something very funny. This causes the shoot to come to a halt for 30-60 minutes. Sometimes I need to put glycerin in my eyes so that my laughter stops due to the burning sensation. This doesn’t happen every time, but whenever it happens, it becomes a problem. 

You are a known face in Punjabi films. As you would know, these days Punjabi films are getting a good release in Mumbai as well. Similarly, Marathi films are being released outside Maharashtra. So, do you think the gap between Hindi and regional cinema is slowly reducing?
Regional cinema is in a very good space currently. The audience for regional films is very dedicated. It is the content that pulls them to the theatres. I feel the content in Marathi films has always been impressive. In Punjabi films there is this typical light-hearted formula. There is a different reason for this because NRIs are a big market for Punjabi films. After working the whole week, their only outing on the weekend is watching films. So, if a film gets an adult certificate because of bloodshed or anything, it affects the overseas business because the rating system there is very strict. If it gets adult certification, the parents can’t take their kids along, so even they don’t go. Due to this, a lot of highly-acclaimed films don’t do well abroad just because of the certification. South Indian films have always been on top. We will need some time to reach their level. The level of dedication of their audience is very high. It looks as if they have decided that we won’t let any film flop. That is called dedication! No matter how the film is, they manage to enjoy. 

How is the Tom Dick And Harry sequel shaping up?
This one has a far more interesting plot than the first one. Apart from comedy, there are a lot of emotions attached to these characters, which was missing in the first one. It will also be a little inspirational. The first film was only about comedy and funny antics. In the sequel, you will laugh during serious sequences as well, but it might also make you teary-eyed. 

Aanand L Rai is making quite a few films. Are you starring in any of those? 
Do you want a girl to dump me again? (laughs) We have known each other for a very long time. His way of functioning is that when he is 100% sure about a script, he approaches the actors and that’s exactly what happened with Happy Bhag Jayegi. So, if he has something, he will approach me. I won’t ask him (smiles).