Jimmy Sheirgill describes himself as an actor sans the “method” and someone who consciously chose to walk away from the sticky mould of a chocolate boy. The actor says his takeaway from over a 20-year-long career is that he slides in and out of a role when he is out of the camera frame.
“I wouldn’t call myself a method actor. Method acting is a deeper concept. You have to constantly be that character. You move like him, talk and behave like him till the time you’re shooting the film. “I can’t be living and breathing my characters all the time. That’s not been my learning. When there’s a break, you’re out of the costume… You’re out of the character. But when the shoot’s on, you do your job with sincerity and honesty,” Sheirgill said.
The 47-year-old actor, who started off with films such as Maachis, Mohabbattein, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai and Dil Hai Tumhara, says he reconsidered his decision of taking up “less prominent”, “meatier” roles early in his career.
“I knew I had to try out something’s else, that’s why I moved to films like Haasil, Munna Bhai MBBS, A Wednesday!”, Yahaan, Tanu Weds Manu…
“But at some point, when I started doing this I was a little insecure. Am I doing the right thing by switching tracks? But now looking back after 10-15 years, I’m glad I took that decision.”
This year opened with a bang for Sheirgill as the terrifying-yet-calm upper caste influential man Bhagwan Das Mishra who relentlessly tries to sabotage the boxing career of Vineet Kumar Singh’s Shravan in Mukkabaaz.
The actor says though he has done some grey characters in Eklavya and Sahib Biwi and Gangster, the reason why the audience lapped it up with both hands is because of its blatant nature.
“It (‘Mukkabaaz’) perhaps provided a pleasant shock. I had done negative roles in the past but not the ‘in-your-face’ ones. It was great,” he says.
Sheirgill latest release is Phamous, a drama set in the Chambal belt of Madhya Pradesh. He plays a simpleton Radhe Shyam in the film, which explores the themes of love, greed and leadership.
The actor says director Karan Lalit Butani, who has worked as an assistant director to Tigmanshu Dhulia in Bullet Raja and Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster 2, has given an international treatment to the story which is loaded with memorable dialogues.
“There used to be those Westerns Eastwood-Tarantino style of filmmaking. I think somewhere he was inspired by those films. I think that’s the big USP,” he adds.
Also featuring Kay Kay Menon, Pankaj Tripathi, Jackie Shroff, Mahie Gill and Shriya Saran, Phamous released on June 1. Sheirgill will also be seen in Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 and Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi.