Irrfan was not just a co-star but a big brother to me, says an emotional Jimmy Sheirgill
Actor Jimmy Shergill definitely considers himself a lucky man for he got to work with Irrfan in not one or two but five film. And perhaps that’s the reasons while remembering Irrfan after his untimely demise on April 29, Sheirgill calls him more than just a co-star. The two shared screen space in Haasil (2003), Charas (2004), Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota (2006), Saheb Biwi Aur Gangsters Returns (2013) and Madaari (2016).
Shocked and saddened by the news of Irrfan’s passing away, Sheirgill says, “It has happened at such a time when I couldn’t go and see him for the last time and can’t visit his family members, too (due to the lockdown).”
Irrfan, 53, after being diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018 was undergoing treatment in the UK and returned to India in last year in February.
Sheirgill recalls, “I was shooting in London last year, and Irrfan was also there for his treatment. I wanted to go and meet him but I couldn’t. I realised that he was going through a lot those days, but I never thought that he would leave us like this.”
Watching Irrfan perform for the first time for their movie Haasil made Shergill, 49, realise that the latter wasn’t just a passionate actor but a filmmaker, too.
“Haasil was our first film together and I remember how even if he wasn’t in the scene, he would be on the set and take interest in filming a particular scene. He would focus on a lot of minute detail. And as an actor, he was very subtle and effortless while performing. It never looked like he was acting,” Shergill recounts.
When they, along with filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia, teamed up again for Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns (2013), they relived Haasil days all over again. “Memories of (shooting for) Haasil would pop up every now and then. Irrfan bhai had a very sharp memory, and he would recall the incidents like it happened yesterday,” he shares.
Stating that “Irrfan bhai will remain my favourite actor”, Sheirgill admits becoming a huge fan of him after watching Paan Singh Tomar (2012).
“I don’t know what that film did to me but I liked it so much that I promoted it more than my own films. He was just brilliant (in it). I still remember watching that film 3-4 times in the theatre with different set of friends, and tweeted about it so many times. This remains one of his finest works which I feel everybody should watch,” he concludes.