New Delhi: Be it singing or dancing, Javed Jaffrey is one of the most versatile actors in the Hindi film industry. Though Javed debuted as a villain in 'Meri Jung' (1985), he excelled as a dancer and comedian in Bollywood. He proved his critics wrong with his performance in Deepa Mehta's 'Fire'. He has again come up with a serious character in director Ashvin Kumar's 'The Forest'. Javed Jaffrey talks about his experiences of working in 'The Forest'.
Q: What is the theme of 'The Forest'?
A: The film is about three people coming together initially what seem to be very normal circumstances where a couple meets an orphan and his father. The story further reveals that they had a past and situation gets complicated. Then there is a predator which is the metaphor for what's happening in the outside world. It also talks about the jungle and its importance to the ecology. It's a drama thriller and the message comes towards the end of the film.
Q: You are doing a complex character in 'The Forest'.
A: My character is of a forest officer who is living a quiet life with his son, his wife is dead. He meets his ex girlfriend and the son sees his intimacy with the woman. The woman's husband is someone he dislikes and that dislike starts coming out more and circumstances get uglier. This is not any black or white character. This is how we are inside.
It's a very well woven screenplay where you'll have poignant moments. You will feel for the guy but then you will again doubt his intentions.
Q: How is Ashvin Kumar as a director?
A: I saw 'Little Terrorist' and I was very impressed. It was a well made film even production wise which is not an easy thing to manage in a short film. A lot of interaction happened after that. Ashvin is very focussed about what he wants. He develops characters in a special way. He didn't like the moment of drama much. He is more in favour of realistic cinema.
Q: You have done well in comic roles, but you also have film such as 'Fire' to your credit.
A: It wasn't a conscious image change. I always had that part in me. At that time when I was just doing dancing and singing, Deepa Mehta came and offered 'Fire'. I had done a film 'Sam and Me' with her in the past where I was a young Goan Christian boy dancing and singing, so it was surprising. Then there is this film 'Shaurya' also. 'The Forest' also gave a chance to personify a complex character.
There is this scene in 'Fire' where I confess to my wife that I have a girlfriend. For me, it's a very touching scene.
Q: You are interested in documentaries too.
A: Right now, I have got this Indian Documentary Foundation going which works towards spreading awareness and makes documentaries that can bring change. We need to have a reality check once in a while and we also need to break out of the escapist attitude. Documentaries are underrated in India, but they are a fantastic medium to convey ideas.