Reported By: Sonil Dedhia
The release of a Rajinikanth film is a festival in itself and his upcoming film Jailer which will hit the screens on August 10, is one of the most anticipated films of 2023. The film features some of the most renowned personalities from across the South and Hindi film industries including Mohanlal, Tamannaah Bhatia Ramya Krishnan, and Jackie Shroff. Shroff, who has worked with the superstar on numerous occasions, says that it was his fortune to collaborate with his friend.
“I think it was simply awesome to collaborate with an old colleague. Rajini Garu has been my buddy for a long time. He was a part of my marriage, something that I will cherish all my life because we had only a handful of guests for my wedding, and he was one of them. So when the opportunity of Jailer came to me, it was a no-brainer,” he tells exclusively.
Jackie Shroff assumes an antagonistic character in Jailer, the actor has previously collaborated with Rajinikanth in the 2014 animated action film Kochadaiiyaan and the 1987 movie Uttar Dakshin. The two actors have maintained their friendship since those times. The actor says, “Although everything has changed, Rajini Garu remains the same. His modesty and regard for everyone have remained constant over the years. He is the most humble superstar there has ever been. His is stardom beyond hits and flops. When one works with him, the experience is enriching. Rajini Garu is a very different person on screen. Every time he appears on film, he undergoes a complete transformation. And as soon as he leaves his character, he stays the same. His style, the way he walks, talks, looks, the way he does everything with his glasses, whatever property he has, I think he’s brilliant.”
Recalling an incident from the set Shroff narrates, “I remember he had wrapped his shoot for the day and was leaving for his home. I still had certain scenes to shoot. He had sat in his car but decided to come back only because he had not said ‘bye’ to me. He came and said, ‘I am sorry I forgot to say goodbye to you. If you need me, I will stay back.’ I was almost teary-eyed but held on to my emotions. It was a sheer pleasure working on a film where he’s the leading man and we’ve done our guest appearances. Whatever we’ve done, we’ve enjoyed every bit of it because he has loved us and given us a lot of love and respect. He took care of us like his family members.”
Shroff, who started his career in 1983, has given some of the biggest hits including Khalnayak which completes 30 years today. The actor gets nostalgic as he shared his memories from the film, “Subhashji (Subhash Ghai) gave me Hero and made me a ‘Hero’ literally (Laughs). But it was a sheer pleasure to work on Khalnayak which is probably one of the biggest hits of my career. Just like Rajini Garu, Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) is my buddy and we had so much fun shooting through the film. It was such a memorable film with Madhuriji (Madhuri Dixit) one of my favourite co-stars and Choli Ke Peeche became a rage.”
He adds, “I remember Sanju’s character was more applauded than mine and he had the titular character but it was all good because we did not have any motive to outdo each other. We did not have any egos and nor did we fight for the screen-time. Our jodi was well appreciated by the audiences as well. We all gave our best and the result is in front of us where people still remember the film after 30 years.”