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GoW is most watched film of my career: Jameel Khan

Known for films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Baby, actor Jameel Khan, who hails from district Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, feels the best way to evolve in acting is to remain connected with theatre.

lucknow Updated: May 01, 2019 14:21 IST
S Farah Rizvi
S Farah Rizvi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Jameel Khan
Jameel Khan
         

Known for films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Baby, actor Jameel Khan, who hails from district Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, feels the best way to evolve in acting is to remain connected with theatre.

“Yes for sure because I have evolved my craft only and only through theatre. Looking back, I can see my journey that revolves round theatre and theatre people. If not theatre, I wouldn’t have become an actor in the very first place. It’s because of theatre that I easily take up any role, like in my upcoming film Blank with Sunny Deol and Karan Kapadia. I play a fundamentalist leader with a typical intonation and trust me it did come to me easy.”

Reminiscing his initial days, the versatile actor who awaits two big releases in May, says, “Those were memorable days. I remember I won Geoffrey Kendall trophy while studying at Sherwood Boarding School, Nainital, for my acting abilities. Then after completing my schooling I appeared for JEEE (Joint Engineering Entrance Examination) but could not clear it and this made me very depressed. I thought that’s it, now no more studies. But on my father’s insistence I enrolled in Aligarh Muslim University for BA and dropped science stream.”

For him reaching AMU was a turnaround, as it was there he not only a joined a local theatre group but also became one of the founding members of the IPTA branch. “That was the time legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah Sahab’s cousin was my batch mate with whom I reached Mumbai and met Naseer bhai to work for his Motley Theatre Group. I remember after much waiting and desperation, Naseer Bhai made me stand in the crowd in Julius Ceasar. It was then the process of my learning and understanding the world of theatre began. And finally my big break Manto Ismat Hazir Hain happened giving me a spotlight I always craved for. It took me years to have reached a comfort zone with Naseer bhai but still I will say it is extremely difficult to impress him (laughs).”

Along with theatre, Khan was also doing small roles in films and it was then that he was offered an advertisement that became an instant hit. “I did several advertisements but the paint ad where I played an inquisitive man who questions “Sunil babu naya ghar...” was such a hit. I did it like a regular work and see how it made me get good ads till date. It’s just a matter of being in right place in the right time.”

Talking about his Gangs of Wasseypur journey, Khan says, “Ads were happening and I did an ad with Manoj Bajpai. It was then he told me that he will start shooting for GoW with Anurag Kashyap. I had known Anurag from my theatre days, so I asked Manoj to convey my greeting to him, who in return called me up and offered me the role of Asgar Khan. Initially, I was very reluctant and also refused but Anurag said you take the role on my behest and you will not regret. And the fact is that I did not regret at all. It turned out to be the most watched film of my career.”

Currently, Khan is busy shooting for Anees Bazmee’s Pagalpanti and an English film Beneath the Sea of Lights. Other than these, he awaits release of two movies Blank and Setters. “Yes my two films are being released on same day that is May 3. Imagine playing a cop in one and a fundamentalist in the other, two diverse characters but I equally enjoyed playing both. As of now I am keeping my fingers crossed for the both films to do well.”

First Published: May 01, 2019 14:21 IST

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