'Rajinikanth is bigger than anyone in Hollywood'
Jackie Shroff has been cast in Rajinikanth's new film Kochadaiyaan, directed by his daughter Soundarya R Ashwin. It will start shooting in March.
Of late, Jackie has been working in films in different Indian languages. His last Tamil film was Aaranya Kaandam.
In this exclusive interview, Jackie Shroff tells Radhika Rajamani that he is excited about acting with Rajinikanth and his relationship with the superstar.
How did you get the film Kochadaiyaan?
Someone called Mr Nair in Mumbai called me and said Soundarya would like to speak to me regarding the film she's directing.
You have said you would do anything for Rajnikanth. Is that why you accepted the film?
Rajni is a benchmark. He's my buddy. I have worked with him. I respect him. I could never say no to him.
The script was good, the role was strong. Technicians are A-grade and the film is being directed by Soundarya. I would say it's a feather in my cap.
Image: Movie poster of Kochadaiyaan. Inset: Jackie Shroff
'I could never say no to Rajinikanth'
Have you been in touch with Rajnikanth and his family all these years?
There were no regular meetings, but whenever and wherever we met, we had respect for each other.
You spent your birthday in Chennai. What did you do?
I went to meet Soundarya at her office on February 1. It was sweet of her to organise a cake that I cut. All the national and international technicians present sang for me.
I never celebrate my birthday and what a day to have started work in a film with the biggest star of India! For me, it's fantastic.
It's my second Tamil film, the first being Aaranya Kaandam. It was a very short visit.
Rajni spoke to me for a while on the phone and I told him I would come to his home next time I am in Chennai. I was in the city for just a few hours. I had to come back to Mumbai as I had dubbing work.
Your last film with Rajnikanth was Uttar Dakshin. How does it feel to be acting with him after so many years?
Excellent. It's a feeling of meeting my brother after a long time.
Image: Movie poster of Kochadaiyaan
'Soundarya is serious about her work'
What is it that you like/admire about him?
I like his simplicity and I admire his stardom. The star of India, he is bigger than anyone in Hollywood. Besides me, my wife likes only him as an actor and admires him.
Did you shoot any portion of Kochadaiyaan?
Not as yet. I only did the test shoot. The actual shoot begins in March.
What's your role like in the film?
I can't talk about it right now as it's too premature.
What is Soundarya like as a director?
Superb. It's like being directed by my brother's daughter. It's like family. It's going to be fantastic. She is serious about her work and very professional. She put in a lot of emotion.
Image: Jackie Shroff