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|June 15, 2000||
'The kids are absolutely brilliant'
Sunil Shetty is on a roll. Hera Pheri has done well. There are good reports about Refugee, his next release. And then, he has both Jungle and Dhadkan to look forward too.
But Sunil does not think he will make the same kind of impact with
But Sunil does not think he will make the same kind of impact withRefugee as he did in Border. "The kids will take the credit and rightly so, I feel. Because, star kid status notwithstanding, they are genuinely good for their first film."
Tell us something about your role in Refugee? Is it as good as your role in Border?
It is. The rapport I share with JPji is tremendous. So, whenever we come together, the results are mindblowing. The kids (Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor) are absolutely brilliant in the film. And I know for a fact that people will admire the film a hell of a lot.
My role is amazing. I play a Pakistani ranger responsible for the coming together of the girl and the boy in the film. But I wouldn't like to reveal more than that.
Actually, I don't think I shall be making the impact I made in Border. The kids will take the credit and, rightly so, I feel. Because, star kid status notwithstanding, they are genuinely good for their first film.
I'm in JPji's next film, Jhelum, as well. I'd better be or else JPji is in trouble. From whatever we have been told about this film, I think it will be one of JPji's best films. It's again a film on the army, which I think is a hit topic.
Of course, I do. I play a task force officer, someone who is committed to everything he does. Personally too, in whatever I choose to do, my commitment is 100 per cent. This character is very close to my heart because he is very well-etched and designed by Ramgopal Varma. He has one aim, one goal, one mission and a lot of emotion for the people he loses at his battlefront, the jungle.
This subject is very close to Ramu's heart. It's not a routine subject like most Hindi films. He dared to do something different, like he always does. He loves living dangerously, that is why he was in the jungle. Initially, when we on location, we were scared. But, when you have 150 people around, relaxing, eating from tiffin boxes opened all around, it's more of a picnic.
It was only when I saw the film that I said, 'Christ! This was really dangerous.' The movie is deadly on screen. The animals were very mild and they disappeared because of all the noise. Besides, we took every precaution. It was a great experience.
Do you identify with these types of roles more than romantic ones? Do you think this would slot you?
Yes. Because these guys have always been my real heroes. Be they BSF officers, army or task force officers, they are real life heroes. Playing real heroes is any actor's dream and playing Walter was fantastic. So were my other characters -- Bhero Singh in Border and Mohammed Ashraf in Refugee.
I wouldn't mind being slotted. If kids remember me as a national hero, why would I mind? In fact, I'd give my right arm for that.
I'm human. As human as any Indian. And every Pakistani is as human as every Indian. In Refugee, I took Pakistan to be my motherland. In Border, I deal with drug trafficking and gun-running problems, which both our countries face. We are talking about common problems and of the people who destroy our countries.
After the success of Hera Pheri, do you plan on doing more comedies?
Yes, I am. Fortunately for me, now people think of comedies with me in mind. Not just dishum dishum and revenge! I have Kasam Se and Khatta Meetha which are comedies. I also am doing Anish Bazmi's Radhesham Seetaram, where Aishwarya and I do double roles. The film is just whacko!
Sunil Shetty spoke to Namrata Nadkarni and Sukanya Verma.
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