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When Gulzar gave Jimmy Sheirgill two orange candies for giving a good shot: ‘I wish I could have preserved them’

On Jimmy Sheirgill's 51st birthday, here's recalling his early days in movies when he started his career with Gulzar's Maachis. Coincidentally, it was this film that gave him his name.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
December 3, 2021 8:19:47 am
Jimmy Sheirgill is celebrating his 51st birthday on Friday. (Photo: Express Archive)

When Jimmy Sheirgill appeared in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein, he instantly became known as the boy-next-door and even though this wasn’t his debut movie, it was the one that introduced him to a larger audience. Jimmy, in fact, made his debut in Gulzar’s Maachis and this was the film that also gave him his screen name. Born as Jasjit Singh Sheirgill, Jimmy adopted the name of his character in Gulzar’s film.

In a 2016 interview to The Times of India, Jimmy spoke about how Gulzar and Aditya Chopra’s polar opposite approach to filmmaking prepared him for a career in this industry. “Whatever I have learnt and however I carry myself is because of Gulzar sahab and later because of Adi (Chopra) and Yash (Chopra) uncle because somewhere I think, your initial schooling is what is responsible for how you conduct yourself,” he shared. Jimmy added that Gulzar pampered his actors on the set and was really “cool.” But in contrast, Aditya was “really strict” and Jimmy used to be “really scared” of him.

gulzar Gulzar (second from right) and the team of Maachis on the set of the film. (Photo: Express Archives)

Jimmy has previously shared that he landed his role in Maachis after he met Gulzar for an assistant director’s position. Despite having a small role in the film that was led by Chandrachur Singh and Tabu, Jimmy was on the set every single day. Since he was still learning how movies are made, Jimmy would look for validation from the captain of the ship and in Maachis, it came from Gulzar handing him two orange candies whenever he gave a good shot. “I miss his two orange candies that he would give you after a good shot along with a big smile on his face. I got them a couple of times from him and I wish I could have preserved them. I learnt a lot from him,” he shared with TOI.

He also spoke about how Gulzar would encourage them to party after they wrapped the shoot, which was quite unusual for a director. “He would tell me and Chandrachur Singh, ‘I hope you are partying na?’ And we would be always surprised. Today it’s the opposite. The director will tell you, ‘Go to sleep. You need to get up in the morning.’ But he was so cool,” he recalled.

Jimmy might have started his career with a small role in an experimental film with Gulzar but over the last 25 years, he has worked with filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani, Aanand L Rai, Neeraj Pandey, Karan Johar, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar among many others. He was last seen in the SonyLIV series Your Honor Season 2.

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