Jackie Shroff made tapori style look sexy and now adding some more herogiri to it is his son Tiger Shroff. Making his debut with the masala entertainer Heropanti this summer, Tiger gets into a chat with Bollywood Hungama, where he talks about taking up acting as a career, why he would never want to do a film with his father, working with his mentor Sajid Nadiadwala and the efforts he put in to get such a huge launch.
When did you decide you would take up acting as your career and why?
Since childhood, I used to be into martial arts, gymnastics and I still love dancing. Unfortunately, after graduation, I did not have any qualification academically and I was not interested in being a doctor or a lawyer or any such profession. I had a lot of film offers since young age, so I thought why not transfer my skills into this industry and do a role that helps me utilize all of my strengths. And that’s how Heropanti happened.
You rejected many films including the remake of your father’s film Heroâ€¦. Why?
I wouldn’t say ‘rejected’ because that’s a big word. I was, actually, not ready to enter films then. And when it comes to Hero, also, the last thing I wanted was a comparison with my father. Hero was such a big hit and my father became a huge personality after that. I didn’t want to disrespect or hamper that in any way. I wanted it to stay the way it is.
But isn’t it getting remade?
I am happy that it’s not with me. If it’s somebody else, then it’s ok!
What was so special about Heropanti?
When the script of Heropanti was offered, I wanted to do it. The specialty of this film is the fact that it allows me to express my skills at the same time the character is so different from what I am. I am so shy off screen, while my role as Babloo is that of a very bindaas and confident guy. He is very outspoken with a strong sense of justice. He will do anything to get what he wants. On, the other hand, I am a complete introvert, I don’t like to argue with people and I am not at all violent. Also, what intrigued me was the innocence in the romance. The love stories today are very adult-like and mature, so this has a maturity but there is also a deeper meaning behind the love.
Heropanti has a lot of action. How have you prepared for it?
I was always prepared for dancing and action. I just worked very hard and more importantly, I had a very good dance teacher and action guru. I had a very good team in general. I had to maintain a very lean body so I had to sacrifice on a lot of good food. I am a big foodie and love to eat yet I had to stay away from sweets, rice, roti, bread. I had to eat a lot of boiled and steamed food with no salt or sugar in my diet.
Your song ‘Whistle Baja‘ has gained a lot of momentum and you also have used your father’s debut film’s tune for the sameâ€¦ How is your family and friends reacting to it?
It’s the best feeling ever. They are all so happy and proud of me. Whenever I get a chance to talk or hang out with my friends, they go on and on praising me and all I say is ‘bas karo yaar you guys haven’t seen anything as yet.’ And I also tell them for two years I couldn’t see or meet you guys because I was working for this. It’s a great feeling when your loved ones love you even more.
How is the experience of shooting for your mentor Sajid Nadiadwala’s film and how was it acting with co-star Kriti?
With Sajid Sir, he is more like a father to me. Like a teacher, guru he looked after me. He watched my every step of evolving as an actor. What I needed to work on. Thanks to him that my training went off very well. He invested a lot of money during the process like my photo shoots, screen tests, script workshop and acting workshop. I am very thankful to him. As far as Kriti is concerned, I couldn’t have asked for a better co-star than him. She is so confident and bindaas and makes me feel so comfortable around her. There are also certain things I picked up from her, like camera facing or when the camera is behind you how to face the camera and such small things.
Are you very inclined towards action films?
I am an actor not a fighter. As an actor, I wouldn’t want to limit myself. I want to experiment with many roles. For now, I want to concentrate on my strengths but I surely don’t want to be an action hero. Once the movie comes out, I want the public to say what I am, if they can pin point.
Your parents are experienced with this industryâ€¦ what have you learnt from them?
To listen more than I talk and to give everybody equal respect.
Many father-son duo have done some prominent roles on screenâ€¦ Would you like to do a film with your father?
No. I am too scared. He’ll just eat me up on screen. He is too good as an actor. Everyone will be busy watching him and no one is really going to pay attention to me. Moreover, he’ll never play a father-son role. He thinks I am more like a brother than a son.
Considering the number of newbies coming up, what’s your idea about competition and whom do you consider your biggest competitor?
I love Competition. It makes me improve everyday and I would like to outwork my competitors. If there is one man I would like to compete with, then, may be Hrithik Roshan because I really admire him. I have never seen a launch like Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. As far as the current generation is concerned, they are all too good! But, I don’t want to project myself like that. They have their own style. Also it doesn’t mean that I want to project myself like Hrithik sir. He had a complete package about him. I hope to be half of what Hrithik sir is. I am not saying I want to be the next Hrithik Roshan; I want to show people the totality of my craft.
Do you think the industry is more pressurizing for star kids since a lot of expectations are attached with them?
Of course being a star son, there is some amount of expectation that people put on you. But that is my strength. That is where I get my motivation from. If I wasn’t my father’s son, I wouldn’t have worked this hard. Yes, people do think that we get everything in a silver platter. But they have to understand that because of that pressure, we have to work harder than a person who comes from a non-filmy background. Especially if you are someone like Jackie Shroff’s son, thenâ€¦ my father’s film Hero was a cult, so I have to prove myself in Heropanti to match up to that level and not let my parents down. At the end of the day, every son wants to take his father’s film higher and I am one of them.
Since this will be your first filmâ€¦ how nervous are you?
I am not nervous yet. I think I worked too hard to be nervous and after all, darr ke aage jeet hai.