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  1. #1
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    Dec 2008

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    'I want a bit of SRK, Aamir and Salman in me'

    Producer Vashu Bhagnani's son Jaccky is all set to make his debut in Kal Kisne Dekha. The 24-year-old actor will be paired opposite another newcomer Vaishali Desai, the grand niece of ace filmmaker Manmohan Desai. The film is directed by Vivek Sharma, who last gave us Bhoothnath.
    Jaccky spoke to Nithya Ramani about his first acting role, losing 60 kilos and more.

    Movies must have been a cakewalk for you, since your father is a reputed producer. He has produced films like Coolie No 1, Hero No 1, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Biwi No 1, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and Sorry Bhai.

    I always wanted to be an actor. But since I wasn't physically fit, I couldn't be launched. I was an obese child and had to train for five-six years before I could be launched.

    It wasn't a cakewalk. Dad wasn't convinced that I could act or was ready to become an actor. Nobody would give a guy, who weighed 130 kg, a lead role just because he was Vashu Bhagnani's son. I had to look presentable, so I hit the gym and followed a diet schedule. Now, I am 70 kg, and ready.

    Now that you have your film coming up, how does it feel?

    It's a dream come true. I have been assisting dad, and have been an associate producer. So going on the sets was normal. But accepting the fact that this time, I wasn't the associate producer but the actor was difficult. It took time for me to digest that.

    'My mother would feel ashamed to take me out with her'

    How tough was it to lose those extra kilos?
    Very difficult. I met so many nutritionists and went to so many gyms that I can advise people on diets and workouts. People don't understand that obesity is a disease and one can't help but eat. I would hide food in my room and eat at odd hours. My mother would feel ashamed to take me out with her. My friends would make fun of me. I never had real friends, they would come to me only when they needed money or a car. I was physically, mentally and emotionally ill.

    I would tell people that I wanted to become a director because I was too shy to tell them I wanted to be an actor. I remember someone telling me that I had what it takes to be a director. When I asked him what that was, he said that I was fat. I was 19 then. So I put my foot down and decided that I really had to do something or else I was doomed.

    What is Kal Kisne Dekha about?

    It's a commercial Bollywood film. It is the journey of Nihal Singh's life. It's a young college film about the problems Nihal faces and how he solves them with the help his love, Meesha Kapoor.

    'I thought Vaishali was dumb'

    You are cast opposite another newcomer, Vaishali Desai. How was the experience of working with her?
    She's very shy, and does not open up quickly. Initially, I didn't get along with her. Vivekji would audition the girls himself. Everytime he would call and ask me to talk to the girl he was auditioning. I just wanted to get it over with during Vaishali's turn. I started talking when the camera started rolling but she didn't say a word. I thought she was dumb.

    To break the ice, I asked her to join my gym. I would pick her up, go to the gym and come back, and she wouldn't say anything apart from 'hi, how are you.' So I got fed up, and told her that I wasn't her driver. After that, things were better.

    As an actor, she is very hard working. She's very calm and in control of situations while I am the opposite. I am very hyper and if something goes wrong, I'll my hair out. We have a healthy competition while doing our scenes. If Vivekji said, 'baby good, baba okay' if she does a scene well, I'll make sure that in the next scene, he says the opposite.

    Didn't you have any apprehensions to work with a director whose earlier film, Bhoothnath, didn't do well?

    There were no apprehensions working with Vivekji. It's true that people are only as good as their last film in our industry. Bhoothnath didn't do well because it wasn't marketed well. But that doesn't change his sensibility. He is a very good man and can direct well. If he could bring out the best of a child, I'm sure he can make us act too.

    It was very nice working with him. He just lets you be. He likes a little imperfection because that's how real people are.

    'Dad is the best we've got in the industry'

    Of course, if anything should go wrong, you have your father...
    Yes. I always have my father's backing. But what is important for me is that I want people to know me as an actor, not as Vashu Bhagnani's son. I want to connect with the youth. I am planning campaigns with dad to see how innovatively we can do that.

    Off late, your father's films haven't been doing well.

    As far as I know, dad is the best we've got in the industry. He is not the type who will sit in office and get work done through the phone. He is always on the sets and makes sure that everything is available. For him to start his career from scratch, after shifting to Mumbai from Kolkata, wasn't easy. But he did it. Life has its ups and downs. No one can stay on top forever. He is very passionate about what he does and is always blunt with his directors. If he doesn't like something, he will tell them on their face.

    It is very circumstantial that his last two-three films haven't done well. It's a cycle and he will bounce back.

    Did you ever accompany your father on the sets of his films as a child?

    I would bunk school and go on the sets with him. I haven't missed a single shoot; I would make up excuses to go with him. Since I had asthma, my excuses were mostly genuine.

    My mother would get mad at me and my dad would cover up. I remember I bunked my Std 10 board pre-lims to go on the sets of Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya. It was great to see Abhishek Bachchan on the sets. He's very natural. And that's difficult, especially if you're Mr Bachchan's son. It's not easy to be grounded. But he was and I liked that.

    'I want to work with Dharma Productions, Yash Raj Films...'

    You dance well. Have you learnt dance professionally?
    Yes. I learnt dance from Shiamak Davar. I have also learnt kick-boxing for flexibility.

    What are your favourite scenes from the film?

    Since this is my first film, I am excited about everything.

    I did the stunts myself. There is a scene where I jump off a cliff of 1,500 feet. There is also a bungee jumping scene from a height of 730 feet. Dad was worried when he learnt that I did these stunts by myself.

    There's also a scene where I ride a bike and Vaishali sits in front of me, facing me. That was awkward because she was wearing a short dress and feeling very uncomfortable.

    Do you discuss work with dad? Ask him what films to take up?

    Of course. He always guides me. I would love to work with other banners too. I want to work with Dharma Productions, Yash Raj Films, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Vishesh Films, Ramesh Taurani, Boney Kapoor, Red Chillies, Farhan Akhtar...

    Who are your favourite actors?

    I like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan and Salman Khan. I want a bit of all of them in me.

  2. #2
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia




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