EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Sheirgill on ‘Madaari’ and upcoming projects

‘Madaari’ directed by Nishikant Kamat is all set to release on July 15. The movie features Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Sheirgill. ‘Madaari’ is based on the true story of Mumbai Metro bridge collapse that took place in 2012.

We caught up with actor Jimmy Sheirgill in an exclusive interview where he spoke about his character in the movie and his upcoming projects.

Tell us something about your role in  ‘Madaari’..

‘Madaari’ is basically a socio-political drama. It’s the race against time kind of a situation where there is this guy who is doing something wrong and he has to be stopped at any cost. The movie has got a huge emotional quotient in it that will be evident when you see the film. Somewhere inside us, there is this feeling of angst that we want to do something for our country, we want to do a lot for our system, raise our voice against injustice, but we are not able to do anything about it. So I think that is the genuine connection that people are going to have with the film. You are going to feel relieved after watching this film.

My character in the film is basically a CBI guy who comes with a lot of experience. That is why I’m playing a little above my age kind of a character. Even in terms of the look and all, this character is slightly more mature than the other characters that I have portrayed so far. And yes, he has been given the task of catching this guy and stopping him.

You have played cop roles earlier as well. How different was this one from them?

Well, in the movie ‘A Wednesday’ he was an ATS guy. In ‘Traffic’, he was a traffic police commissioner. In ‘Special 26’, he was a fake cop. I have played a bad cop in ‘Fugly’ also. The reason is that I like cop roles. Anything that has to do with the armed forces or the police or air Force, excite me a lot because in school I wanted to be in the armed forces. But I have never qualified for it, the reason being that 90% of the people at that time wanted to be in the forces. In today’s day and age, even if you find 5% who are interested in joining the force, it would be a big deal. Nobody wants to fight for the country. Everyone wants to come in movies. I don’t even know who will be fighting for our country ten years down the line.

When you talk about joining the armed forces, have you done something in real life? Have you ever helped someone in need? Any such incident that you would like to recollect?

I have helped so many times that it is difficult to pick one incident. And as for movies, as long as the script is nice and my character is good, I say yes to it.

You are working with Irrfan Khan in the movie. What is that one quality of Irrfan that you love the most?

He is an endearing guy. I have known him since the movie ‘Haasil’. Since that time, I have always maintained that he is my favourite actor. I enjoy watching him. Everything is not about imbibing what someone else has. Maybe I’m not even capable of what he does. As long as you watch somebody performing and you feel great about it, it’s a good thing. It was a great feeling for the makers to have thought about me for this particular role. I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them. Irrfan is very cool, very chilled out. I think we share a very nice rapport. He is also not too much of a talkative person, neither am I. He is a no-nonsense kind of a guy just like me. It was a pleasure working with Irrfan.

Madaari’ has a backdrop of Mumbai Metro bridge collapse. Do you feel the film will highlight the issue or be an eye-opener?

I don’t know about the highlight part though I’m 100% sure that the movie will be an eye-opener for everybody.  The subtitle of the film says “Desh So Raha Hai”. So, it just means that things are happening but we are sitting at our homes and nobody is really doing anything. There are very few people who raise their voice, rest all are sleeping. So to awaken those people, this is the right film.

Since the movie deals with an intense subject, how was the atmosphere on the sets?

Our intention was correct. We heard the story, we believed in it. We all made it with a good intention. So the atmosphere was that we are making a film which should speak volumes about what all is happening around. We gave it all that we had. We hope that the people enjoy it. In terms of cinema also, you will see some good cinema.

You have been a part of many Hindi and Punjabi films. Would you love to venture into other regional language movies?

Yes, I would love to. I have been offered certain films down South, but due to date clashes those movies couldn’t work out. Also another thing is that I want to take time. I just don’t want to jump into things. At least I would want to learn a little bit about that language. And if you I’m not able to dedicate time for it, then I don’t want to jump into it.

You have produced quite a few Punjabi films. Do you plan on producing Hindi movies as well?

I have stopped producing even Punjabi films now. The last movie that I had produced was in the year 2013. Because I feel that production is a full-time job. You need to give it your 100%. You need to be around for which I was not around. I was busy working on Hindi films. Out of the four films that I did, I only acted in two of them. The remaining two I didn’t even act in. So when I’m ready and I can give 100% time, then only I will think of producing movies. My main focus is entirely into acting now.

What do you have to say about movies getting leaked before release date?

Movie getting leaked before release date is bad. But they have their own watermarks. So it’s written inside that the copy is for dubbing or for censor board and so on.  So it’s important to know that if piracy has happened then from where it has happened.

What about your upcoming projects?

After ‘Madaari’ that releases on July 15, there is a movie called ‘Happy Bhaag Jayegi’ that is produced by Aanand L Rai and directed by Mudassar Aziz which will go on the floors next month. It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy. Besides me, there is Abhay Deol, Diana Penty and many other people. I thoroughly enjoyed playing that particular role as after a long time I got to play such an entertaining character.

The film ‘Madaari’ is directed by Nishikant Kamat, presented by Bharat Shah and produced by Shailesh Singh, Madan Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar and Shailja Kejriwal and co-produced by Kshitiz Bhardwaj. The film also stars Vishesh Bansal, Tushar Dalvi and Nitesh Pandey.

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