He may be a star-kid, but Tiger Shroff has chosen to tread the path less travelled by trying to have an identity away from that of his parents. Having chosen action and dance roles, he’s trying to consciously choose movies away from those his cool father Jackie Shroff has chosen.
Having come a long way already, Tiger has seen a lot of ups and a few downs with a couple of flops in his career. In a chat, the actor talks about working towards being a better actor, alleged lady love Disha Patani, and more. Excerpts:
How does it feel to be tagged as an action hero?
I feel blessed because I’ve got some sort of an identity this early in my career. When people think of Tiger, there’s a certain thing that comes to their minds. For me, I feel like I’ve made some sort of a mark. And that’s a great feeling. I don’t think there are many in this space, this genre right now. Action heroes are mass heroes. They sort of connect with a wider range of people. Subconsciously, I’ve always wanted to be an action hero.
As far as tags go, I’m only four films old. If I’m typecast, I have sort of made a mark that people identify me with something in the industry. So that’s not a problem. I’m proud to be tagged as an action hero or a dancing star.
But it’s a scary thing to perform your own stunts. Do you rely on body doubles for the dangerous sequences?
I never use body doubles, because these stunt men are risking their lives, and barely get the respect they deserve in return. It’s very sad when you see a stunt man put his life on the line. They’re not well paid in the industry, and they put their bodies at risk. I can imagine what their families must be going through. So, I do all stunts by myself. I don’t want to steal their credit, else they should be in the movie instead of me. That’s my way.
I wanted to start some action or stunt awards, but I don’t know where to begin and how to go about it. But I will do it, just to give them the recognition, as they’re the hardest working people in our industry.
Your last movie Munna Michael didn’t do too well. How did you deal with its failure?
I was very, very upset, because I had put in a lot of effort. Many say people appreciate my dancing, so I thought they would definitely be attracted and come watch me. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as we had planned. I don’t want to blame anybody; I blame myself for the mistake, and hope I’ll bounce back with Baaghi 2.
I started off on a high with Heropanti and Baaghi, which did well. But after A Flying Jatt and Munna Michael didn’t work, it really hit me, and I felt I’m on a shaky ground. I better stage a comeback, I thought to myself.
A lot has been written about your Baaghi 2 co-star Disha Patani and you. And you both do seem very comfortable with each other…
Yes, we do share the comfort factor, and acting together is very easy for us. It felt natural doing romantic scenes with Disha. Doing any sort of a scene is fun because we’re both good friends and we get along. Not to mention the fact that we want this to work badly. Both of us are hungry, so it was organic.
When you first started off, there was a constant comparison between you and your dad Jackie Shroff. How difficult was it for you to build your own identity?
I thought it would be very difficult, because my father has been a very big star, and has a huge presence in the industry. But because I was different from the time my very first look came out, the comparisons never happened. I’m thankful that nobody is comparing me to my father, because that’s one I can’t win. I purposely showed my skills, identity, and chose different movies than my father did in the past.
Would you share screen space with him someday?
I would end up being overshadowed by his presence and aura! He has such a strong presence to him, that when he walks into a party, all heads turn to look at him. He has that effect; he was born that way and is lucky. Guys like me have to work hard to get that acceptance and appreciation.
Sajid Nadiadwala has been a mentor to you from day one. Does it get difficult to say no to him?
There’s no reason for me to say no to Sajid. He knows me in and out, and launched me. Prior to that, we’ve had so many conversations. The only time I wanted to say no to him was when he wanted me to cut my hair for this film (laughs)! I was very connected with my hair, but he said ‘You need to reinvent yourself and it’s time to change your look. Always experiment as an actor.’
I just went ahead with it, and people have unanimously appreciated it.