Love is on Jackie Shroff’s mind, among other things as he reflects on onscreen love stories, impact of OTT, new age cinema, fitness and more in an exclusive chat with Filmfare. Excerpts:
They are all my buddies ya. They are beautiful souls. They’ve grown up in a digital world. I come from a world of writing on slates and using dusters. So after experiencing that generation, I feel like a fulcrum between both. I have kids at home and I’ve seen them at all ages – right from when they were little to teenagers to grown-ups. So I know their feelings and I listen to them. I like listening more than talking. And you learn a lot when you listen. I relate to them because I don’t see age. I don’t see the generation gap. I only see the feelings. Feelings remain the same. Everyone feels hunger and pain regardless of age. So Bhidu, pyaar mat chhod. It’s just my love and concern for everyone.
What are your thoughts on the continued rise of the OTT wave and how different is it from a big Bollywood production?
Honestly, I have no idea what’s missing because if I knew then I would make those kinds of movies. No one has the formula for this. No one knows for sure how to make a film successful. It could be a trend that will come and go after a while. Cinema halls are places where you go for a shared viewing experience – you don’t know the 200 people you’re watching the same film with, reacting with. At home when we watch films with our families, there are lots of other distractions but it’s convenient. There’s an audience for that too. You just don’t get the theatre experience at home.
You have this extensive filmography but what are the kind of roles you want to do at this point in your career?
Love doesn’t change. There are many ways to express love and that’s the only thing that changes. I was telling someone recently how I’d tell my wife I love you. I’d take a piece of paper, cut it, paint it red, fold it in a heart shape, put mom’s perfume on it, put it in an envelope and give it to her. And now it’s just the press of a button and an emoji goes without any scent. The way you express love has changed but love hasn’t changed. You can’t change your love for your mom or your kids and your friends. Love is something that you carry over for years and years. It’s not something that should crack. They talk about a union of seven years “Saat janmo ka saath”. People wish they are together even for the next birth. Those types of feelings come up. So love is something that is beautiful, I mean it takes time to find real love. Mom’s love is the best kind of love you already have and then you have to go beyond and find your love. You know what I’m saying, pyaar toh haich! The only thing that has changed is how to say I love you. In Atithi Bhuto Bhava, for instance, Pratik Gandhi’s Shrikant doesn’t know how to say I love you and my character Makhan Singh knows how to say it.
Ram Lakhan we hear is going for a remake. Whom do you think should reprise your and Anil Kapoor’s role?
Pratik Gandhi was definitely one of them. I like him a lot. I also like Shraddha Kapoor. She’s such a fantastic actress and a fine singer. Obviously, I would love to co-star with my son Tiger in a film. That’s something I’m dreaming of. I feel even after I go away, at least our film will always be there.