Jassie Gill sounds out of breath when we speak to him over the phone. He is working out at a gym as nights are spent shooting for his next film, Panga, in Bhopal. The Punjabi actor-singer made his Bollywood debut opposite Sonakshi Sinha in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi earlier this year and believes he couldn’t have asked for anything more, even if the film didn’t do that well. The actor, who turned 30 recently, wishes to see his work improve in the future. He says, “Every birthday, I look back at what I’ve achieved in the previous year and try and better myself. People know me as a Punjabi actor and singer, I hope they can accept me as a Bollywood actor now.” He is paired opposite Kangana Ranaut in the Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari directorial, which is about kabaddi. The pop singer believes that viewers will get to see a different side to him in the movie. “When women see him, I believe they will want a husband like him,” Jassie says. So, is he expecting a lot of proposals from girls post the film? “Let’s see!” he laughs. Over to him...
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi (HPBJ) received a mixed response from the audience and critics alike. Were you disappointed?
That was my first Bollywood experience and I didn’t sign it thinking it would be a blockbuster. I just wanted to work honestly and hoped that people would see the effort that I had put in. I think I managed to do that because I got a lot of appreciation. There are many factors that contribute to a film’s success. It’s not one man’s job.
You got Panga even before your Hindi debut...
I was in Canada when my team got a message from casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s office asking me if I could send an audition for a role opposite Kangana. Maine aise hi phone pe baithe baithe banake bhej diya. The shoot for HPBJ was still left, but I got a message that they had selected me for Panga. The announcement was made just two days before HPBJ released. It was a huge moment for me as it meant the industry had shown its trust in me.
How’s the experience of shooting with Kangana?
It’s really good. We have been shooting for the past 10-12 days in Bhopal. People will get to see a different side to me in this movie. It’s a film based on kabaddi and I think every family will relate to it because it will make you appreciate the sacrifices your parents make for you. I have shot a lot of scenes with Kangana. We work out in the gym together and she has heard and liked my music as well. It’s fun shooting with her.
Is there any insecurity on your part, since Kangana is a big star?
Not at all. I have been working in the Punjabi film and music industries for the past six years now and I have never thought about competition. I just do my work and feel happy when people appreciate it. Like I said earlier, a film belongs to all those people who are associated with it. And tomorrow if it’s a hit, then all of us will be happy.
Your single with Neha Kakkar, Nikle Currant, has received more than 149 million views on YouTube. Were you expecting this kind of response?
I have known Neha for the past four-and-a-half years and we had been planning to release a single for a long time. Finally, we managed to put together this song, but had to face a lot of hurdles before it released. The shoot got delayed because of the weather. Jo cheez jab honi hoti hai, tabhi hoti hai. The track released recently and the last time I checked, it was the fourth most-viewed video worldwide and is on Billboard’s world music charts, so I’m really happy.