Jimmy Shergill and Sanjay Suri: Yin & Yang

Filmfare meets up with Jimmy Shergill and Sanjay Suri to discuss spirituality and gay roles

Jimmy, you wear a lot of gem stone rings. Are either of you spiritual?

JIMMY: I wear these rings because I believe in astrology. It makes sense when what’s predicted comes true. I’m not religious but very spiritual. I go to places like Haridwar, Shirdi, Tirupati for peace of mind.

SANJAY: Ghosts narrows it down. I do believe in astrology but I don’t follow it. I’m not into rituals but I’m spiritually inclined. Meditation works for me. Visiting places is just for the experience rather than the religious significance.

If they did an Indian Brokeback Mountain would both of you act in it?

Sanjay: (Laughs) Brokeback came much after our film…

JIMMY: My Brother… took the USP out of this type of film.

Sanjay: And then Dostana came along of course… But conversely I would certainly have done Yahaan. In fact, Shoojit Sircar wanted me to play one part but being from Kashmir I had certain ideas, which didn’t match his, so it didn’t work out.

Sanjay, Jimmy took up Karan Johar’s offer of acting in My Name Is Khan after Aamir Bashir couldn’t do it. Would you take up such an offer blindly?

Sanjay: (to Jimmy) I don’t know whether you did it blindly or not…

JIMMY: No, no I did it blindly. Karan called and I told him I always wanted to work with him and even if it was four or five days of work I’d do it. He said he’d need me for almost a month and that he did want me to read the script. I had a great time doing it as it gave me a chance to work with Shah Rukh Khan after 10 years.

Sanjay: Well if I was approached on a personal level I would have done it. But strictly on a professional level, I would have avoided it. Simply because it didn’t do much for me.

When you were a kid, what were you punished for?

Jimmy: I used to be punished or scolded because I dreaded shampooing my hair — being a Sardar — every two or three days. But as a kid I was pretty decent. It was only in college that I became a bit naughty.

Sanjay: (Laughs) For me the constant thing was missing my first class for a game of basketball. Otherwise goody-two-shoes, boring.

Sanjay, what are Jimmy’s strengths and weaknesses?

Sanjay: Jimmy’s strengths are that he’s focused and not impulsive like me. Weaknesses? he has these walls around him, which may or may not be good. I think he can get rid of them. Also, he doesn’t communicate immediately. If he doesn’t like something he’ll tell you after a week and I’d rather he just get it done then and there.

And Sanjay’s…

Jimmy: He’s hard working and talented. It’s not easy for a person to start a production house and start making his type of films. I would not say the same about myself. I’ve done all kinds of stuff because of whatever reasons. As for weaknesses I’d laugh and say as you said that he’s a sceptic. What is going to happen will happen, you shouldn’t take tension about it.

Sanjay: Both of you think that ya, so then maybe I need to change something. But if I were not sceptical I would never dive in and do all this. I have this chat with my wife also. I’m ambitious but I’m realistic at the same time.