x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Jackie Shroff’s ‘star son’ Tiger talks Heropanti during Dubai visit

On a recent visit to Dubai, Tiger Shroff – the son of veteran actor Jackie Shroff – talked to Ujala Ali Khan about his debut film Heropanti, and what it means to be a ‘star son’.

Tiger Shroff makes his Bollywood debut in Heropanti. Courtesy Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Tiger Shroff makes his Bollywood debut in Heropanti. Courtesy Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment

Lots of biting, scratching and growling as a child earned Jai Hemant Shroff the nickname “Tiger”. It’s the kind of name that looks great on a movie poster. The son of the 1980s superstar Jackie Shroff, Tiger makes his acting debut with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment’s Heropanti, directed by Sabbir Khan. “My father never wanted me to be an actor,” reveals Shroff. “My parents gave me a very normal childhood and kept me away from the limelight. My father wanted to protect me from the pressure and the public eye and I respect him for that, but acting was my true calling.”

Though no longer a biter – “I am tamed now,” he says with a laugh – Shroff is still as nimble as the big cat he borrows his name from. Refusing to use of stunt doubles for the action sequences in Heropanti, Shroff has executed aerial kicks, triple backflips and a six-minute parkour scene, thanks to gymnastics and martial arts training.

Heropanti is the second film for the director Khan, who made his screenwriting and directing debut with the 2009 film Kambakkht Ishq, starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor.

Khan says that Shroff and Kriti Sanon were natural choices for the lead roles in Heropanti.

“Nobody was more suited for the parts than these two,” he insists. “They both auditioned for the part along with so many others and were cast based on their talent and their suitability for the roles. Tiger was perfect, especially because of his skills in martial arts.”

Tiger says the “star son” tag was something he came prepared for.

“When you are a ‘star son’, people have all these expectations that you are supposed to match,” admits Shroff. “The fact that this film’s name is similar to one of my dad’s greatest hits [Hero] and that we have used a tune similar to one from dad’s film, obviously there were going to be questions, but once people see the film, they will realise that this is where the similarity ends. To me, this film is everything. It’s my life. It’s been my life for the past two years. I have given it everything and more. It’s been a long and educational journey.”

artslife@thenational.ae