Tiger Shroff goes candid
Son of the legendary actor Jackie Shroff, Tiger Shroff was quite sure that films were his call. After standard XII, he started preparing for the film industry without any formal acting training and he was lucky enough to get offers from a very early age, one of them happened to be Heropanti. Sajid Nadiadwala’s production invested in his training in the form of look test, photo shoots and script workshops to mould him in his character and since then there is no looking back.
Excerpts from his interview with Executive Editor Seema Dhawan.
Being the son of iconic JackieShroff, do you think you have an added responsibility on your shoulders?
There is too much responsibility. He has a good will in the industry. He has a reputation in the industry that I don’t want to stain. I try my best to not let him down. Every son’s dream is to take his father’s legacy forward. I know, whatever I am is because of him. I am very thankful and grateful to be my papa’s son.
Are there more expectations because you are a star kid?
Yes, it is natural for people to think that since we come from a film background we are destined for this and we should be preparing for this for a long time. It is fair (but to some extent )for the public to perceive us that way. But they also have to realise that there is an expectation we have to match. I use it as a fuel; to motivate myself to work harder. I feel blessed and very grateful. I am here because you guys are appreciative.
You are an MJ fan in real life. How easy or difficult was it for you to play the role in “Munna Michael”?
It was difficult. He is an iconic character and everybody knows how he talks, how he sings, how he dances. I couldn’t fool the audiences there because he is too famous. There was a huge expectation on the dance front at least. A lot of practice went into dancing. I wouldn’t say the experience was fun because it was very challenging. There was a scene where I had to pay tribute to MJ. I had to dance for 1 minute in pure MJ style. To maintain the same speed power and accuracy was very challenging.
What are the first few memories of Michael Jackson?
He was in Mumbai for a concert. I remember there were so many people. My father basically picked me up and put me up on his shoulder. That’s how I saw the whole concert. I remember when MJ came on stage and stood there for 2 minutes, everyone was shouting his name. There were so many emotions all at once. I was very small and was wondering why people are going so mad because he was just standing that time. I felt there was something supernatural about that man. That aura made me feel like doing something someday.
We know you’re a fabulous dancer. What other strengths would you like to showcase in your films?
From character to character I would like to explore myself. Mujhe khud pata nahi meri strengths kya hain. I find new strengths with the help of new roles, my co-actors and the directors. I still don’t know what I can do.
Do you have a dream role?
would love to do some sort of a musical, like John Travolta did in Grease. I would love to do something like La La Land. There I’ll have to sing also (smiles).
How do you think you have evolved as an actor?
Every film is a journey. Heropanti was primary class for me. Baghi was middle school so on and so forth. That is how my journey has been.
Can you tell us one lesson that you’ve learned from your dad?
Being as composed as possible! As an actor it is very important to do one thing at a time and not think about doing 3-4 things at the same time. If you want to breather, then breathe, if you want to talk, and then talk. Don’t try to overdo things like moving your hands while talking. I am always scared of saying something wrong because papa has so much of goodwill in the industry. Because of that I am very quiet.
Who is the real Tiger?
Real Tiger is an animal (laughs). Every I am very reserved just like my mother who is very shy. Sunday is a day where I can be myself. I do anything I eat anything. No ladkibazi and all.
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
I don’t know; I haven’t thought of that yet. I set short-term goals. There is one long-term goal that I want to achieve. I want to be like my idols. I want to have a reach like Michael Jackson. Har city mein har gali ka har bachcha janta hai unhe. I want to reach that level. That’s my goal.
Do you want people to remember you as “Michael Jackson fan” or Tiger Shroff?
I don’t want to be known as “Michael Jackson fan”. There are too many fans. I want to be known as first Tiger Shroff. And not just dancing, I want to take many things together and want to be a complete package. I want to reach his level. Then I think I will be unstoppable.
How do you stay so grounded even after becoming a star?
I think I observe my father. He is the same. He talks to the spot boy just like he would talk to the director. I really respect him for that. The only difference is that he speaks and I hardly speak. I don’t think I’ve achieved anything yet. Even if I do I will feel the same. I’ve just started out.
What is your fitness regime? How do you stay so fit?
Eat timely and drink timely. I stay away from eating oily and spicy food because I have a very sensitive stomach. So, I have to have boiled and steamed food.