“The audience keeps saying ‘Show us something new’ and that’s what we’ve tried to do this time… you can’t afford to leave your brains at home for this one,” says actor Jimmy Sheirgill, while talking about his upcoming Punjabi film ‘Hero - Naam Yaad Rakhi’, directed by Baljit Singh Deo.
The actor didn’t let a sore throat stop him from taking part in an enthusiastic interaction with HT, along with costar Surveen Chawla, on Thursday. Be it singing live for the audience, or sharing a dialogue or two from the film, the duo did all they could to make sure their fans go watch the movie.
As keen believers of experimentation as the next big step for the evolution of Punjabi cinema, the film’s lead actors also feel it is high time the same is executed for real.
“It’s important we walk the talk and drop double standards,” says Chandigarh-born Surveen, while referring to the repetitive comedy films made in the Punjabi film industry.
“We end up doing the same kind of films, so while it is important that more filmmakers come up with unique subjects, I think we, as actors, also need to be more responsible and do different films,” she adds.
Sheirgill agrees with his costar and says one needs to go beyond doing slapstick comedy. “It’s sad when I hear people refer to the Punjab industry as ‘comedy cinema’, so the onus lies on us at the end of the day to shake things up a little,” says the 44-year-old, who will be seen in a first-ofits-kind romantic thriller in this film.
‘Hero - Naam Yaad Rakhi’ is the duo’s second film together post Dharti, in which their onscreen chemistry created quite a buzz among Punjabi fans. While Chawla has come to realise that Sheirgill’s intimidating demeanour is a part of his personality, he, on the other hand claims that it is ‘very very easy’ to work with the former and also appreciates her approach towards cinema and her choice of films.“Actually, I always wanted to do a proper romantic film with Jimmy,” she laughed. So, besides being hopeful that their chemistry would recreate the magic on the big screen, the team also believes that the picturesque locations of the film would prove to be a crowd-puller.
“It was rather difficult to get permission to shoot at the places we have in Canada, but we didn’t give up and the audience will see it for themselves,” said Navkiran Singh, one of the producers of the film, who was also present at the event. In fact, the 100-minute film is also the first Punjabi movie which will be shown in Kolkata as well. Talking of the film’s melodious music, the bubbly Surveen Chawla offered to sing a few lines from her personal favourite ‘Sohneya Sajna’ and mermersied the audience with her vocal skills. Tight-lipped about their characters, the stars are eager to know how their fans will respond to the film, especially Jimmy Sheirgill who is ‘dying’ to get honest feedback from fans. He says he has never worked so hard on any other project.“Not only me, I think this goes for the entire team, while Baljeet Deo suffered a heatstroke, Surveen got injured while shooting. Thanks to their zeal, we didn’t stop shooting and carried on as per schedule!” says the actor.
Refusing to divulge any other detail about the film’s tagline ‘Naam Yaad Rakhi’, the actors insisted that we watch the film to resolve the mystery. A supportive Sheirgill decided not to disappoint those present as he shared the main dialogue from the film’s trailor, “…te ehi 100 gm tha fark har siyaape di jadh hai”, while Chawla added, “Date yaad rakhin, July 10!”
(Inputs by Oindrila Mukherjee)