Bollywood: Salman Khan fans are going to have a blast with 'Radhe', says Jackie Shroff
Actor reminisces about his long association with the Bollywood superstar ahead of their movie's Eid release.
There’s hardly a decade separating Bollywood superstar Salman Khan from his Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai co-star Jackie Shroff. The duo has shared a range of relationships over the years on the big screen - from brother-in-law, to mentor to antagonist. Yet it is their personal bond that Shroff holds close to his heart.
Having known Khan from a young age, Shroff avers that “Salman was a great kid and now he’s a great guy.” Despite the fact that the Prabhu Deva directed action-comedy Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is releasing amidst a pandemic, the actor feels Salman Khan fans are going to have a blast.
“They like to see him on a chaddhar (sheet, referring to the cinema screen) and not a roomal (handkerchief).” The UAE is among the foreign territories where the movie is up for theatrical release unlike in India where due to the raging Covid situation, Radhe will simultaneously release on a pay-per-view platform as well.
“Radhe is a wholesome film, a family entertainer and Salman Khan is coming on the big screen after a long time…,” continues Shroff over our Zoom call, to underline the Bollywood superstar’s propensity to come out with blockbusters during the festive season.
Jackie fondly recollects his long association with the Khan family reminiscing how “he’s grown up watching us - me and Sanjay (Dutt) baba. Salman was the AD for Falak - he used to read the lines for me and I used to see the spark in him.” Shroff remembers how he was impressed by Salman Khan’s pictures and decided to take him around to his producers. Finally the young Khan landed a role on Maine Pyar Kiya (1989). “So I have this emotion for this little boy trying to do something and he has it in him.”
On his role
Shroff plays quirky ACP Avinash Abhyankar, a sneaky faint-hearted officer, who fakes his bravery stories and takes the credit for other people's actions in Radhe. The actor says it was a breeze playing the role. “Whenever Sohail (Khan) or the family write a script, they think of me. And I never say no to Salman Khan, because I’ve known him for years. The family loves me a hell of a lot.” He goes on to add that unlike his romantic or action hero act in most movies, in Radhe he does comedy, and “he’s not quiet but quite a riot!” He also credits Prabhu Deva as a great dancer and director who knows his timing and comic sense. “I just followed my director to the T and Sohail Khan and the family took care of me like a little kid, took all my tantrums (laughs) so we had a blast!”
Radhe, a game changer
Jackie stressed that any Salman Khan movie deserves to be seen on the big screen since it cannot be contained on a small screen. “The film is larger than life, so it should be on a large format with loud sound, with fans watching from one place.”
As for the proceeds from the movie’s release going for Covid relief work in India, the actor is of the opinion that one should not have to publicise one’s intentions. “It goes without saying that we are taking care of many - dancers, fighters, junior artists,” but he stresses that it should not be for the sake of just talking about it. “Never look into the eyes of the person you are trying to help. Don’t make it sound like an obligation,” he states with his deadpan swagger.
Working with Disha
As for sharing screen space with son Tiger’s rumoured girlfriend Disha Patani, Shroff is pretty diplomatic. “I think you should ask her how it feels to be interacting with me!
“I flow with the time. These are just kids who are working in the film. I love and respect them and learn from them, watch how they behave behind the camera, with other people - the producer, the director, the spot boy, the light boy. This matters to me a lot more than what you are as a star on screen. It’s being human, you know what they say! So she’s pretty human.”
Even at 64, it is great to see the suave senior Shroff has lost none of the bindaas attitude that defined him in his hey days.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is out in UAE cinemas on May 13.