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Coffee pe charcha

Updated on: 03 October,2023 07:22 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Jimmy on how 10 cups of coffee and a long conversation with director convinced him to play the villain in Choona

Coffee pe charcha

Jimmy Sheirgill

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Coffee pe charcha

Jimmy Sheirgill was certain he didn’t want to play another arrogant MLA from UP, and turned down the makers when they approached him for the Netflix outing, Choona. However, writer-director Pushpendra Nath Misra was certain that once the actor read the script, he would change his mind. Sheirgill shares that Misra was right, almost. “I was happy that there were people writing such fresh content. However, I had a bit of an issue with the character,” says the actor, who then wanted to meet Misra. “I loved it because [the script made me] not only love the main character but everybody in the show. I told [Pushpendra] that I had done something similar. In another meeting over a dozen cups of coffee, while I was busy convincing him that I didn’t want to take it up, he ended up convincing me. And I am glad he did,” smiles the actor, crediting the director for keeping the energy on set and always being on his toes. “He barely slept for two to three hours a day during the shoot.”

Choona revolves around a group of misfits who band together against a common enemy, a ruthless yet superstitious politician. Considering the series, also starring Aashim Gulati, Namit Das, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Gyanendra Tripathi, among others, was to be dubbed in several languages, Sheirgill insisted on dubbing the Hindi and English versions. Asked if the comic value is sometimes lost in dubbing, the actor says, “It is lost, but when you have viewers all over the world, it is imperative to use different languages. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure that we kept the humour intact when I dubbed it in English, at least. When you already know the story, scene by scene, you know how you will react. However, [while shooting], we were also laughing at things we didn’t initially think would be funny.” 

Sheirgill, who has seen ups and downs in his career, is now more at peace. When he wanted to shift his image from being a chocolate boy to doing more character-driven roles, he was strongly advised against it. “I felt the chocolate boy image wouldn’t last long. I took a little break and thought about things. When I returned, I started taking up films like Munnabhai MBBS, Yahaan, A Wednesday, among others. I won’t say it was a good time because a lot of people called me mad for giving up lead roles with prestigious studios and taking up supporting roles instead. It gave me sleepless nights. But when I look back now, I am happy that I made that decision.”

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