I prefer to watch movies in cinema halls only: Jackie Shroff

August 01, 2023 Yogesh Mishra

Jackie Shroff, a renowned Bollywood actor, is recently seen in director Karan Singh Rathore’s short film "Paath: The Lesson". The film nicely showcases the issue of bride trafficking in some parts of India. Shroff, is known for giving many blockbuster movies like Hero, Karma, Ram Lakhan, Agni Sakshi, Border, etc., In an exclusive interview with Yogesh Mishra, he spoke about his latest short film, the impact of OTT on the cinema business, actor son Tiger Shroff, if daughter Krishna Shroff wishes to enter the acting world, and more.

Your short film "Paath: The Lesson" is a small film but has a big message. What do you say about this?

If such films touch the hearts of people like you, what else can I expect? You are a journalist, and you also feel good watching such a film. This is a fantastic film, so people should support it.

This short film is about bride trafficking. We have heard a lot about child trafficking and women's trafficking, but hardly anything about bride trafficking. Any comment?

Even I heard it for the first time.

After the OTT came into existence and increased cost of movie tickets, it seems that people are less keen to go to cinema halls. What is your opinion on this?

Time does not change, actually. The passion and emotions of the people are still the same. Pathaan and The Kerala Story, like films, recently did very well. People are still going to cinemas despite mobile and OTT being within everyone's reach. People think of cost when they plan to go to the cinema. I came to know that the cost of popcorn in the cinema hall is reduced. So now, definitely, more people will go. A middle-class family who still thinks of cost before taking his family to the cinema hall. Popcorn costs are sometimes more than your movie ticket costs. If your child asks for it, what will you do? So I thank the person who has taken this decision to reduce the cost of popcorn.

Barring Pathaan and a couple of more movies, hardly any Bollywood movie has done wonders at the box office in the last 2 years. What is your take on this?

Pushpa and a few other movies also did well.

But I’m talking about the purely Hindi film industry, so-called Bollywood.

Yes, but even South is releasing Hindi-dubbed movies. It’s actually people’s choice as to what they want to see and what they don't. There is always a time for everything. When TV and daily soap came, people got worried about the future of cinema; similarly, now digital and OTT are taking place.

What is the future of cinema when the number of cinema halls is gradually decreasing in the country?

Cinema halls are facing various challenges in terms of taxes, etc., and COVID has also impacted them badly. Even though they paid rent when they were not functional during the pandemic, nowadays most of the cinema halls are in malls, so we can’t expect a cinema hall with 1000 seats; instead, we can see four cinema halls with 250 seats each. In a way, most things are the same. There are still a few theatres with a 1,000-seat capacity. In Mumbai, the Maratha Mandir Cinema is still functional and has a huge seating capacity.

Do you miss that era of the 80s and 90s when most of your blockbuster movies were released and people enjoyed them on the big screen with crowds of 700 to 1000 people?

I still love to watch the film in cinema halls. I prefer to watch movies in cinema halls to experience the atmosphere. Whenever good films come out, I will go watch them for sure.

Your son, Tiger Shroff, is one of the finest action heroes in the country. Any comment on him?

I actually don’t want to talk about him. What will I talk about with my son? I just wish he would do good, take care of his health, and master his art and craft. I wish he would connect his name with the nation, take it to the next level, and make the country proud. He should just carry on with his good works; that’s it.

With the kind of stunts that he does in movies, as a father, don’t you fear about his injuries?

He is my son, so it definitely comes to mind, but now he is flying high. He runs, falls, stands up again, and runs. This is life, actually.

Did you ever try to stop him from doing dangerous stunts in the movies?

I actually don’t keep any negative vibrations for my son because he may fall and get injured. I have seen him practising hard for these stunts. What if he falls? Just get up and go on. I thank God that He has given him enough strength; that’s why he is able to do his own actions. Today he is not just the youngest action hero of India but of the world. Still in front of him is a huge world. I wish he would do more Yoga and pranayama, do good, and respect people. That is what I want from him.

A just small secret, who actually given the name of Tiger Shroff and why Tiger? 

His name is actually "Jai" given by my wife, which is derived from my name "Jaikishan". I actually named him "Jai Hemanta," Jai from my name and Hemanta from my elder brother Hemant’s name. So, this way I named him Jai Hemanta. Similarly, I named my daughter Krishna, which is again derived from my name "Jai Kishan" only. My first half name for son and second half name for daughter (Jai+Kishan). My mother calls me Jaggu and school friends call me Jackie. My actual name is Jaikishan.

So, when and how did the name (Tiger) originate?

When he was a very small kid and I took him in my lap, he used to scratch my face with his fingers (like a tiger). He tried to bite here and there. That time, I used to feel him like a tiger. I feel like he's my very own small tiger. That time I realised I should rename him a Tiger.

Don’t you think Tiger Shroff justifies your feelings about him being like a tiger by proving one of the biggest action heroes?

(Laughs.) He is actually a human being, but his behaviour was like that of a tiger at the time.

What about your daughter, Krishna Shroff?

My daughter Krishna runs a health club for mixed martial arts called "Matrix Fight Night". Her focus is very much on health.

Is she (Krishna Shroff) planning for an acting career also?

She is not fond of acting. She is interested in health-related things, so I allowed her to do what she wished to do. I don’t want her to do things that she doesn’t like.

Our magazine "Bollywood Town" successfully completed 8 years on August 1, 2023. Any message for team "Bollywood Town"?

Happy 8th anniversary to "Bollywood Town" magazine! I wish you enjoy, spread love, and distribute sweets on this auspicious occasion.

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