It’s rather uncommon for a Punjabi to be selected to play a South Indian character, but Ludhiana-born stand-up comedian-turned actor Jaswant Singh Rathore faced that situation recently.
And the artist gladly accepted the film role, which shows him as the Karnataka-born lungi-clad ‘Murgun’, also a die-hard fan of Rajnikant. The Bollywood film Roll, Sound, Camera, Action, directed by glamour industry’s ace photographer Jayesh Sheth, has been shot and is expected to release next year.
“This is the first film that I signed after a stint of four years with stand-up comedy,” says Jaswant, adding, “I was aching to break out of that image, and I am glad my role turned out to be both intrinsic to the film and challenging.”
In the film, Jaswant plays a canteen-owner who is passionate about writing for films. “Roll, Sound… is a peek into the world of film-making, the good and the bad of it,” shares Jaswant.
When asked about how his Bollywood debut happened, the actor says he met the director through
a common friend and Jaswant’s brilliant ability to mimic (he can mimic over 80 celebrities) combined with his rugged look (he sported a moustache then) made Sheth instantly offer him the role.
Highly excited about his movie debut, Jayant is also on a roll having signed his second Bollywood film, Zindagi Beautiful. With the shoot scheduled to begin in January, the film will be directed by actor-writer-director Sameer Iqbal Patel.
In the film, Jaswant will be seen playing a hotel receptionist, a role he describes as being “quite crucial to the film”.
If Bollywood is happening, how can Pollywood be far behind? Jaswant will be soon seen in Punjabi film Vyah 70 Km, which also marks the regional foray of actor Aarti Chabaria. “Punjabi cinema is witnessing a boom that has opened a number of avenues for aspiring character actors like me,” says Jaswant, who will be seen playing the younger son-in-law (Jaswinder Bhalla plays the elder) of a huge family.
Does he not aspire to play a central character of a hero? Jaswant says he would surely take up the opportunity if it comes his way, but would not be unhappy to make a mark as a versatile character actor.
Apart from Vyah 70 Km, Jaswant has signed two other Pollywood films, namely Ishq Da Ooda Aida and Aashiqui Not Allowed.