I don’t want to compete with anyone but myself – Tiger Shroff
He may just be one film old, but Tiger Shroff has earned himself the title of Bollywood’s next-gen action hero. While Heropanti established his action and dance skills, his second film Baaghi takes his passion for martial arts a step forward. Ahead of the release of his film, Tiger talks to Pandolin about how he aims to carve his own niche in the industry.
Your first film belonged to the action genre and did well at the box office. Since Baaghi also falls in the same genre, are you more confident about its reception?
I don’t want to talk about the box office and jinx anything. I’m quite confident because of how our trailer has been received. It’s a big feat for a film trailer to receive over 16 million views. Usually a commercial film is written down by critics but thankfully we haven’t been written down. We’re lucky and thankful that our hard work is being appreciated.
Are you apprehensive of being typecast as an action hero?
Getting so much so soon is a very big thing. And I think I’ve got a lot of love. I’m just a film old and people are already typecasting me, which means that I’ve made some sort of a mark and impression. I’ve been trying to make a niche of my own and there’s so much competition. So when you think of what is it that Tiger Shroff is bringing to the industry or what is it that’s making him stand out? Why is he different? Why would people go up to him and give him a script. Not just because he’s Jackie Shroff’s son, but what are his talents and his plus points? Keeping all that in mind I’ve deliberately expressed myself in this way.
People say that I’m an action hero but I don’t feel like an action hero
So do you wish to breakaway from this action guy image?
I’m quite happy. People say that I’m an action hero but I don’t feel like an action hero. People say that I have a soft face and when they see me dancing, they can’t recognize me. When you think of an action hero you think of that particular body language. You think of actors like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But I’m not limited to that. All I’d say is that don’t try and typecast me. I can do everything.
How did you train for your role in Baaghi?
I learnt five different martial arts, one of which is Kalaripayattu that has originated in Kerala. They say it’s the mother of all Martial arts and every martial art has stemmed through it.
So were you drawn towards this project because of martial arts?
When it comes to action, who do you look up to?
I love films that they make in the East. I love martial arts films and cult action heroes like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
You share screen space with Shraddha Kapoor who is your childhood friend. Did that make things easier on set?
Yes, very much. I’ve known Shraddha and she’s a very positive and happy girl. The best part is that she has done such great work, delivering hit after hit. She’s not had any baggage with her, doesn’t have any starry tantrums and is so simple and easy to work with. Performing scenes with her was really easy and so much fun.
I didn’t get my first film because I was Jackie Shroff’s son
Your first film released in 2014 and there’s been a significant gap till your second release. Are you being selective or cautious with the roles you choose?
I’m not being cautious or calculative. I’m just taking my time and being secure about what I’ve gained in such a short time. If my fans really love me and have accepted me, they’ll wait for me. The only reason that I’m taking my time is because I want to give them a better show.
Though it’s said that star kids have it easy, do you feel that at times, it’s more difficult for them because they have to live up to many expectations?
Yes, the break comes easy and it’s easier to get noticed. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t get my first film because I was Jackie Shroff’s son. That being said, there is an expectation, a pressure to do well. But I get strength from that pressure. I perform my best under pressure.
Is there a particular genre that you’d like to try in the near future?
I’d like to do serious drama, something like a real story. I’d love to do a biopic on one of my inspirations like Michael Jackson or Bruce Lee.
Your next project Flying Jatt is more like a comedy. Tell us about it and the experience of working with director Remo D’souza.
It has a lot of comedy and also has action. Working with Remo was mind blowing. He’s an easy going person and a lovely man. He’s very hardworking and was always so well prepared that I would work equally hard to give him whatever he expected of me.
I’d love to do a biopic on one of my inspirations like Michael Jackson or Bruce Lee
How would you define competition with the current crop of young actors in the industry?
I don’t feel it yet. I purposely want to make a different space for myself where I don’t have to compete with anyone but myself.
Transcribed by Kiran Dave