Then Vs. Now: Here's mapping Jugal Hansraj's journey from acting in Masoon as a child actor to directing films and more
Did you ever imagine that the kid dancing to Lakdi Ki Kaathi in Masoom would mature into a handsome lad? The little boy grew up to become one of the most good-looking actors. Jugal Hansraj has had an eventful career that started at the tender age of around 9 with Shekhar Kapur's classic, Masoom, co-starring Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi.
Jugal, who became a national sensation and a successful child actor with Masoom, went on to continue his acting career. He acted in films like Karma (1986) and Sultanat (1986). While growing up, Jugal tasted success in abundance. After turning an adult, he reunited with Urmila Matondkar in Aa Gale Lag Jaa in 1994. As a child actor, he was a rage. However, as an adult, his films didn't match expectations at the box office. Jugal acted in a couple of projects like Papa Kehte Hai (1996), Mohabbatein (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Salaam Namaste (2005), Aaja Nachle (2007) and Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh (2016).
Talking to Times Of India about facing failure in his teenage, Jugal said, "I won't deny that it hasn't been tough. Dealing with the failure of my movies was incredibly difficult. Not only did I face criticism from media reviewers, but they also attacked me personally. I've been called various names and labeled as a jinx. Moreover, the numerous films that never even started production led people to mock me. They would make comments like, 'Oh, it's about time Jugal attends mahurats of his own films', when I attended events for other movies. Initially, when my projects were shelved, it would bring me to tears when I was 18 or 19. However, over time, I grew immune to such disappointments."
Opening up about not getting work, the actor added, "When I received calls saying that the film I had signed and was supposed to start soon was no longer happening, I would simply say, 'Thank you' and hang up. I became numb to it. Nevertheless, it remains challenging when you work hard and face unkind comments about your work. Sometimes people take it personally, which is unnecessary. It's just a movie, and one can either like it or not without resorting to personal attacks. The industry is tough, and people can be harsh and cruel, but that's the reality one must accept when entering this field. It was challenging because even the people you consider friendly or nice to you can change based on the success or failure of your movies."
After seeing his share of highs and lows, Jugal turned to direction with the animated Hindi film, Roadside Romeo, in 2008. Produced jointly by Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Studios, it featured the voices of Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Jaaved Jaffrey. It opened to negative reviews but won the National Film Award for Best Animated Film. A song sequence from the film was also nominated for the Visual Effects Society Awards in Los Angeles for Best Animated Sequence alongside sequences from WALL-E and Kung Fu Panda.
He went on to direct Priyanka Chopra and Uday Chopra's 2010 film, Pyaar Impossible. Putting his directorial career on the back burner, Jugal returned to the screens with Shiv Shastri Balboa. He was back to acting after a gap of 7 years. Jugal played an important role in Netflix's Lust Stories 2 in Tamannaah Bhatia and Vijay Varma's short film directed by Sujoy Ghosh.