Jimmy Shergill in Conversation with Masala: Playing a Bihari, His Work Mantra and Being Typecast

Jimmy Shergill in Conversation with Masala: Playing a Bihari, His Work Mantra and Being Typecast

Jimmy Shergill is set to appear in Jhoota Kahin Ka as a Bihari and he spoke to Masala! about being cast as a Bihari gangster and his work mantra in Bollywood
Jimmy Shergill in Conversation with Masala: Playing a Bihari, His Work Mantra and Being Typecast
Jimmy Shergill in Jhoota Kahin Ka - photos, publicity

Jimmy Shergill rose to prominence with Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer Mohabbatein in which he played a young moony-eyed hero. However, he had made his debut in Maachis and was later also seen doing a memorable role in Sanjay Dutt’s Munna Bhai MBBS. Over the course of his career, Jimmy has branched out and experimented with various films and characters (Tanu Weds Manu, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Happy Bhaag Jayegi and Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi) in Hindi film industry while also successfully ruling the Punjabi film industry in India. Masala! caught up with him for an exclusive chat and talked about being typecast, playing a Bihari and so much more.

Jimmy Shergill in Jhoota Kahin Ka

Jhoota Kahin Ka promotional photos

Masala!: Tell us about the film. What’s your role like and do you actually think these roles are on autopilot for you?

Jimmy Shergill, laughing: Jhoota Kahin Ka is an out and out comedy. Smeet Kung is a blockbuster comedy director from Punjab. And then there was Rishi Uncle and the Punchnaama boys, this great bunch of good actors who wanted to tell a story about family and youth. Then it has this drama element to it as well. When I looked at the script, I said I’ll do this script for a friend but Smeet said, I want you to listen to the dialogs. So there was this Bihari accent and I had never done this before. So I thought wow, there’s something different. I’m always game of friends and we had a great time shooting the film. Rishi Uncle was there and we’ve loved watching him as we grew up but there was also the challenge of doing something I’ve never done before, so that got me really excited.

Masala!: What was it like to play this role in Jhoota Kahin Ka? You had a thick Bihari accent.

Jimmy Shergill: it was hilarious. So many of the situations especially.

Jimmy Shergill 2

Jimmy Shergill

Masala!: Please explain the plot to us because from the trailer it seems quite confusing as to who’s lying to whom.

Jimmy Shergill: To simplify – families are being lied to. The young kids think that their father won’t like this or that – and their lying to their family makes the situation from bad to worse. These boys think that their lying has made things better but actually it’s just created chaos and confusion.

Masala!: How have you not been typecast yet? You’re often cast for sweet roles and gangster roles – simultaneous sometimes! How does that happen?

Jimmy Shergill: I think a lot of that has to do with the timing of the releases. Sometimes I’ll do a UP based character or a cop’s role. Sometimes I’m doing a good cop, sometimes I’m playing a bad cop. When you’re working round the clock, roles come your way and you do them and the film takes its time to get made. From my end I try not to get typecast, but norms in the industry are such that when they see a film come out finally and they’ll see me playing a bad cop from UP, I start getting offers of characters offered are like that only. I did a small and slightly humorous role in De De Pyaar De and after that I started getting calls for similar roles. Sometimes you’re doing films for friends and you move on. But six months later people are calling you, asking you to do the same role!

Masala!: So do you end up doing the roles you don’t like?

Jimmy Shergill: When I don’t like something, I always say no. I clearly say I’m not in the frame of mind and I don’t do it. Mera funda is simple: I try to keep myself busy. You only get an X amount of scripts. Out of these ten scripts, I want to do the script that challenges me or makes me think that hey I can try something different here. I believe that the film will be good and I try to do my role as honestly as possible.

Jimmy Shergill

Jimmy Shergill

Masala!: What’s your take on Bollywood now? The era of the big star has moved away and moved on to reality based stories. What’s your take on that?

Jimmy Shergill: It’s a great change now. There are more plot-driven films that exist today. Even if they’re serious and intense, they’re created in such a way that it’s entertaining. They’re being written in a way and it’s great. We did a film called Haasil ages ago, which was about young people, life in UP, back in the day. Even the serious dialog were said in a very humorous way and that’s what I see now. There’s dark humor, that’s really entertaining and as long as people are laughing and being entertained, it’s good.

Jimmy Shergill 1

Jimmy Shergill

Masala!: What are your expectations from the film?

Jimmy Shergill: You work hard on every film, as long as people like the film, as long as they say nice things, it’s all good. Obviously I want people to enjoy the film that I’ve worked hard on and the film should do well for the producer.

Watch the trailer of the film here.