‘If shoot is in Lucknow, you know it’s going to be fun’

Having shot multiple films in Lucknow, it’s literally a homecoming for actor Jimmy Shergill, who lived in the state capital and studied at the premier St Francis College.
Jimmy Shergill
Jimmy Shergill
Published on Oct 06, 2018 03:17 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | ByDeep Saxena

Having shot multiple films in Lucknow, it’s literally a homecoming for actor Jimmy Shergill, who lived in the state capital and studied at the premier St Francis College.

Interestingly, of the many films he has been part of, ‘Bullet Raja’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ and ‘Shorgul’ have been exclusively shot in Lucknow. Besides, he keeps returning to the city for promotions, events and award functions.

Currently, he is shooting for ‘Family of Thakurganj’ in the city that has been directed by Manoj K Jha and produced by Ajay Singh Rajput.

“It’s great that I am frequently getting chance to come here. When someone tells me that the shooting of a film is in Lucknow, automatically half the battle is won and you know that it’s going to be fun. There is a familiarity about people and places,” he said.

The actor feels all this has happened after film-makers started shooting in real locations. “Earlier, shooting was mostly done on sets but now it has changed.

“I have memories attached to the city. Where my vanity van is standing today (near Baradari), that is the place where it stood when we shot the ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ climax: where the two baraats meet. We did a shootout scene for ‘Bullet Raja’ near the Machchli Gate in Qaiserbagh. The other day, we were shooting at Jahangirabad palace, of which I have so many fond memories. But then you also get chance to shoot at new locations, like we shot in Itaunja this time,” he said.

The only problem he is facing is tough weather conditions and ever-growing, chaotic traffic going from bad to worse. “The city has changed a lot. I remember in my schooldays, we never used to go beyond Park Road after evening. Also, no one used to go to Gomti Nagar.”

His recent release ‘Saheb Biwi & Gangster3’ did not fare well at the box office. “Saheb is a character which is absorbed inside me. I am happy that the response for me was good but it’s sad that the film did not do well. I feel, people liked the ‘dialoguebaazi’ (the repartee), the mysterious, wicked and scheming world of Saheb and Biwi. With the iconic Sanju Baba (Sanjay Dutt) playing gangster it has to be larger than life. With that, the evil world of Saheb Biwi & Gangster was lost, personally speaking. But, Tigmashu (Dhulia, director) is a fighter and will make a comeback.”

Jimmy’s last release ‘Happy Phir Bhag Jayegi’ did well at the box office and he earned rave reviews for this comedy.

The actor has been part of various sequels — ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Munna Bhai’, ‘Sahib, Biwi & Gangster’, ‘Happy Bhag Jayegi’ and Punjabi film ‘Munde UK De’ — which are now franchises and are expected to get more episodes. “At times, you don’t get anything for three - four years. And then, suddenly, you come to know that a sequel is being made. Now, we are hearing ‘Munna Bhai 3’ is being made. So, it’s good. When I did a film, I never thought its sequel would be made but they happened, and even a third in the series came,” he said.

He has couple of films lined-up. “This (…Thakurganj) film is being shot from start to end at one go, then I will shoot for my Punjabi film in December. There are some other projects in which I have bits of shooting left. You never know which one will get released first.”

Jimmy has also shot for a TV show ‘Garage Guru’. “I have anchored the show for Zee Anmol, which is based on the lives of mechanics. It goes well with my image, as I am fond of bikes and cars. It is an interesting show about mechanics who are actually unsung heroes. It has 7-8 episodes in the first season. Next, we can have a season on trains and planes.”

Talking about ‘Family of Thakurganj’ he said, “This is a wholesome film which has action, songs and masala for the entire family. Even though there is a Thakurganj in Lucknow, the place depicted in the film is a fictitious place, where this family lives. ‘Kuch seedhe-sadhe hain aur kuch tedhey hain jo use adhbut banate hain (Some folks there are simple, others not so much; yet together they give the place its flavour).”

As conversation veered towards an end, Jimmy left us saying that he had to return to the shoot. He had been shooting a Holi song ‘Jab Rang Lagaye Sawariya’ with co-actor Mahi Gill at the park besides the Qaiserbagh Baradari, when in between shots, he took out time to interact with HT City.

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