Interview Hindi

Don’t know what I have done to deserve such fan following, says Tiger Shroff


Actor Tiger Shroff speaks about preparing for his role in Student Of The Year 2, his next dance film with his idol Hrithik Roshan, and his fan following among tots.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Keyur Seta

Tiger Shroff held out promise of becoming Hindi cinema's next action star with his debut film Heropanti (2014). In the years that followed, he has lived up to the promise with his kicks, punches and jumps in films like Baaghi (2016), Munna Michael (2017) and Baaghi 2 (2018).

So when someone like him is cast in the second film in the Student Of The Year series, it is obvious the film will have a good deal of fights and stunts. And, of course, Shroff has also proved his dancing skills.

In a group interaction ahead of the film's release, Shroff spoke about preparing for the role in Student Of The Year 2, his next dance film with his idol Hrithik Roshan and why he finds his fan following unbelievable and adorable. Excerpts:

You play kabaddi in Student Of The Year 2. How did you prepare for that?

Yes, kabaddi is one of the sports in the Student Of The Year competition. I practised a lot to get the body language of kabaddi [players]. At the same time I tried to keep my athletic ability in mind because I have a certain audience which likes seeing me do my 'Tiger-ism'. I mixed both of them a little bit. That’s how we went about it.

Your 'Hookup Song' with Alia Bhatt was recently out. How was it sharing the screen with her for the first time?

I had a really good time with her. First I was like oh, Alia is such a superb actor and I hope I don’t give too many takes. Then I realized that she might be a huge star but she is still so hardworking and focused. She goes after every shot with 2000%! So, that just inspired me to give of my best alongside.

Tiger Shroff with his SOTY2 heroines Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria

[Director] Punit Malhotra said you are always particular about rehearsals.

I have to be, yaar, because I am not an actor like Alia. I need rehearsals. I am handicapped without rehearsals.

You have developed your own fan following in such a short period. What do you think of it?

It is a responsibility. I am really lucky, especially with children. Today I was on [television show] Super Dancer promoting [the film]. And little 5-6 year-old kids are really fond of me. I don’t know what I have done to deserve that. But I am very, very blessed that I have got their attention and appreciation. I think because of them, their mom and dad have to like me (laughs). For me that is one plus four box office tickets. That’s why I got lucky with, say, Baaghi.

You are now part of two franchises, since you also have the Baaghi series. Which puts more pressure on you?

There is more pressure here. See, Baaghi is home ground for me, in a way. There is more pressure with this film because I am an outsider. I am taking somebody else’s franchise forward and praying that it becomes a blockbuster, so that the franchise can live on for future generations. And it’s Karan sir’s baby also. In that sense, there is more pressure and expectation here.

Shroff with his heroines at an SOTY2 promotional event

How do you keep reinventing yourself when it comes to action and dance?

I leave that to my director, dance director and action director. I am just a vessel where they have to express their ideas and creativity.

You regularly keep sharing videos and pictures of your stunts.

Whenever I am not shooting anything, this is like my life. So, I keep practising and I want to learn more things every now and then. 

You have said you feel insecure about your performance in front of others. How was it to perform in front of Hrithik Roshan in your upcoming film?

In front of Hrithik Roshan I am fully insecure. But it’s such an amazing experience. When I am working with him and doing my lines with him, sometimes I just go blank. I keep looking at him. Like, I can’t believe I am with you, sir. It’s an amazing experience!

I am so proud of what we have shot and what it’s turning out to be. But I am very nervous for myself. I am proud because I am working with my hero, with a big banner in a big film, with a great director who has done a great job stitching the film together. It’s a great story. People are expecting it to be a full-on commercial action film and there will be dance involving both of us. But it’s actually so much more. And that’s what I am proud of, that people are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Would you like to break away from your image and do a film where there is no action and dance, as an experiment?

Yes, I would like to do something like that just as an experiment and as a break for me also. But nobody is offering me those kind of films right now.

Any chance of seeing you and your dad Jackie Shroff together? Have you been offered any such film?

We were offered a couple of scripts long ago but nothing to sort of put in our energies right now.