Last year proved a turning point for the very talented Parsi actor Jim Sarbh, a regular on English stage in Mumbai, who found belated success on screen as the terrorist in Neerja.Jim Sarbh learns horse riding for Padmavati; gets to play Parsi in Raju Hirani’s film
Jim admits Neerja changed everything in his life. “Now, when I say something, producers listen. When you are not successful, nobody listens to you.”
Playing the terrorist in Neerja has done two things to Jim’s career. “I am being offered largely villainous parts. And strangely, or maybe not so strangely, a lot of the roles that I am offered are of Muslim characters, maybe because I looked a certain way in Neerja. But I am actually a Parsi.”
Jim gets to play a Parsi in Raj Kumar Hirani’s bio-pic on Sanjay Dutt. But before that he has pivotal parts in Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati.
Says Jim, “In Raabta, I’ve two personalities to project and yes, there are distinct shades of the negative. But it’s pretty much three of us Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon and me in the film. As for Padmavati, I can’t really say much about my role except that I am again a Muslim character and I am learning horse-riding for the film.”
Jim is also learning how to drive for a web series. He says he has never found any reason to drive himself so far. “I travel by auto and I find driving a waste of time. But now that I am doing movies, I find myself learning new skills. Film acting has broadened my horizon, though I’ve been doing theatre for years. Now, after Neerja, I do get recognized. People smile when they see me, they want pictures. But nothing like being mobbed or anything, please.”
While we are on new experiences, Jim is all set to do a 12-episode web series for Ayush Raina entitled Smoke. “It is set in Goa and it’s an exciting story, is all I can say right now,” says the Parsi boy from South Mumbai.
Jim has now shifted to the other side of Mumbai to be close to the movie industry. He has a sister who is a school teacher in Boston. “She works with specially abled children. That’s an immensely satisfying vocation.”
Jim is on the look-out for his own levels of excitement. “Nothing like the stage to make you feel good as an actor. However, right now, I am exploring acting in cinema and haven’t consented to any new stage commitment. I guess this is how it’s going to be for a while,” says the actor who did a spot-on Arabic accent in Neerja.
“I can do many other accents. In fact, I’m doing a different accent in each of my films. Hopefully, audiences will hear and see a different character in all my films.”
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