17 years of Mohabbatein: Jimmy Sheirgill tells us 10 reasons he loved shooting for the film
Mohabbatein will always hold a special place in actor Jimmy Sheirgill’s heart, considering he became an overnight heartthrob with the 2000 hit. Mention to him that the Aditya Chopra directorial completes 17 years today, and he gets emotional and says that the occasion brings back many wonderful memories of the film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Uday Chopra, Jugal Hansraj, Shamita Shetty, Preeti Jhangiani, Kim Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
“I still remember each and every day of the shoot. In fact, today morning only my make-up artist was narrating one of my dialogues from the film, paap aur punya ka faisla karnewale hum kaun hotey hain… when I was getting ready for shoot. And it instantly brought back so many memories. How I followed a strict regime before and during the entire shooting schedule… the entire grooming process was new to me,” reveals the actor, who played the role of Karan who falls in love with Kiran, who is a widow (played by Preeti Jhangiani).
Going down memory lane, Jimmy remembers a few interesting incidents that happened during the making of the film:
1. Before we started shooting for the film, I slipped and fell against a glass table, getting a deep cut on my hand. I got about sixty stitches and my entire right hand was bandaged. And all that was going in my head was, ‘I am going to lose out on the film, after all such a good opportunity doesn’t knock on your door every day.’ But to my relief, luck favoured me.
2. With the bandaged hand I attended a havan at Yash [Chopra] Uncle’s place. Amitabh Bachchan saw me and he told Yash uncle that ‘he (Jimmy) is too much of a method actor; he is taking his role too seriously’. He actually referred to the scenes in the film where I usually hurt my hand to get it bandaged by Preeti’s character. It was said in humour but coming from him, it was like a compliment.
3. The scenes outside Gurukul were shot in London and we (the cast) had some crazy moments shooting there. I remember when I was shooting a scene; Shah Rukh Khan was watching me perform. After the shot got over, he came up to tell me how I could do the scene in a different way. It was a sweet gesture on his part.
4. Uday [Chopra], Jugal [Hansraj] and I used to eat, work out, chat together. When not shooting, we would only talk about the film and how do we go about the shoot next day. The film was the most important thing in all our lives. We all were scared thinking about how we should deliver our scenes well. And our emotion was writ large on our faces when we shot for the Gurukul scenes with Amitabh Bachchan.
5. While Yash uncle was easy and chilled out, Aditya Chopra is a hard task master. Our routine was fixed, we started shooting early in the morning, gymming, lunch, practicing shots, dinner, going to bed on time… When we got some time, we would play badminton, but again that was part of our fitness regime. We used to shoot 10-12 hours a day and on Sundays it was lighter. Aditya Chopra used to hold a meeting with us to discuss the scenes. He was tough in terms of what he wanted.
6. Priyanka (my wife) saw me in the promos of the film and told her father that ‘this is the guy I want to marry’. She didn’t even know my name at that time. We met a day before the release of the film.
7. Working on the Holi song was the best part of the shooting schedule for me. We shot it for 10-12 days and had so much fun. During the time I also realised that shooting should be enjoyed and I shouldn’t get too worried about getting things right. If you enjoy your work, it shows.
8. While shooting for the puja sequence in the film outside Gurukul in London, it was freezing cold. Dressed in kurta-pyjama-chappals, Uday and I found a way to keep warm: We used to run 100 meters, come back and sit down to shoot for the film and repeat it till the schedule got over.
9. A lot of people asked me if we got time to interact with Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan. But the thing was we neither had the guts nor time. We were only focusing on our performance alongside them. I didn’t interact much with Aishwarya [Rai Bachchan] then. And the reason was, as I said, we were all engrossed in our work. I think I spoke to her more after she got married to Abhishek Bachchan.
10. We bonded well. And today, Uday is in America, Jugal is busy with direction and I am busy with my shoots, but we are in touch and do catch up.
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