One of the most versatile and loved actors of Bollywood, Jackie Shroff, turns 64 today. He’s an actor who enjoys tremendous goodwill due to his jovial nature and ‘bindaas’ attitude. Speak to any of his co-actor or a filmmaker who has worked with him and they are bound to narrate you their entertaining experiences. Vidhu Vinod Chopra is no exception. In his book ‘Unscripted’, written by Abhijat Joshi, the veteran director-producer opens up about never-before-known anecdotes involving the ‘bindaas bhidu’.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra worked with him for the first time in his classic film Parinda (1989). The actor was interested in working with him and decided to come on board. However, he said that there’s a problem. “I can’t act,” said Jackie and laughed. At this point, Vidhu Vinod Chopra explains that it was considered to be a struggle to get Jackie to act. To prove his point, Vidhu mentions a rumour that during the filming of Hero (1982), director Subhash Ghai would have to even tell Jackie to look left and then right.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, however, had a solution to this peculiar problem. He went inside his bedroom, and came back with a piece of paper. He handed it to Jackie and told him that he has written a sacred mantra and that Jackie should recite a hundred times to improve his acting. He also told Jackie to open it the next day. Jackie Shroff opened it the same day after reaching home and was shocked to find the words written in capital letters, ‘I CAN ACT!’! Jackie initially got angry at Vidhu but the filmmaker says in the book that this incident broke the ice between them.
One day during the rehearsal, it was Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s turn to get angry. Jackie Shroff was supposed to come to his place at 10 PM but he got 3 hours late. At 1 AM, he walked in, laughing. He then explained that he knew he was late and that Vidhu would have been angry at him and hence, he bought roses to calm him down. However, he went to the wrong floor and pressed the doorbell. A lady opened the door and couldn’t believe that a popular, dashing actor was standing there with flowers. Not knowing what to do, Jackie handed her the roses and left. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, too, couldn’t stop laughing at this faux pas!
Knowing Jackie Shroff and his ‘I can’t act’ problem, Vidhu Vinod Chopra devised a novel idea. On the first day, when Jackie walked in on the sets of Parinda and asked where is the mark on which he’s supposed to stand and deliver his lines, the director told him that there isn’t any. He also added that Jackie is free to start saying his lines from wherever he likes.
At this, Jackie Shroff began to abuse Vidhu. He wondered how this decision of Vidhu to go without a mark can even be termed ‘direction’. Vidhu remained calm and told him to do whatever felt natural. However, Jackie kept screaming and left the set. Half an hour later, he came back and realized that this method can work in his advantage.
Here, Vidhu Vinod Chopra says, “That was the beginning of Jackie Shroff, the actor. He went on to win Filmfare’s Best Actor award in 1990 for Parinda.”
More Pages: Parinda Box Office Collection
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