Tiger Shroff kicked up a storm a couple of days back when he referred to his female co-stars as “padding” (in other words, they’re mere props in films). The Munna Michael actor instantly got called out from all corners for being sexist and received a lot of flak for being insensitive and a narcissist. Later, he had to issue a clarification as a form of damage control, but then, what was done was done.
The actor stated to a leading daily how his words were misconstrued and that, “People who know me well know that I am not the kind of a guy to insult and disrespect women. I never called my heroines padding. I was referring to everything else about the film — how the director designs the film, shoots, and pads it up. I was talking about the structure and the padding around a film to make it larger and not about the girls at all. The reporter misinterpreted me completely in the process. She asked me if I was okay being cast opposite newcomers and I said it didn’t matter. What matters to me is the script and my role. I don’t interfere with the casting at all because I am very focused on myself. That’s all a filmmaker’s responsibility. The last thing I would do is think of actresses as mere props”.
Tiger is also known to be extremely guarded about his love life. There’s a lot that has been said about his apparent closeness with Disha Patani, with rumours swirling around about how it was on Tiger’s recommendation that Disha Patani was chosen to play the lead opposite him in Baaghi 2 instead of Shraddha Kapoor.
So on that note, here’s a look back at our cover story on the controversial man whose film, Munna Michael, releases tomorrow (the film traces the story of Munna who achieves his dream of keeping the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, alive in people’s memories).
In the interview, Tiger gave us an insight into his love life, how he crushed on his father’s leading ladies, his idea of the perfect date and more. Take a look.
No, we didn’t ask Tiger Shroff to do splits or fold himself in half, although we’re quite sure he would have happily obliged — it’s no secret that he’s insanely fit. Instead, we asked him 15 questions about his universe.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I think my biggest achievement has been to be accepted by the masses. When I speak of the masses, I mean the single screen theatres that have given me a lot of love. Most of the collections of my films come from them, and I guess that’s because the films I’ve done cater mainly to them. Maybe they like seeing me do that, the action and everything. It’s something I’m really grateful for. I’ve also been especially lucky with children. One of the bigger achievements is that I get calls from random mothers, saying that her child won’t eat until he or she hears your voice. Some of them even have to watch Heropanti or Baaghi before sleeping every night.
Do you have fond childhood memories of your father’s sets?
I used to enjoy watching my father shoot, watch him do all the action and stuff. That inspired me to do what I’m doing right now. I can’t name anything in particular – it’s because every day was full of love and laughter. My father used to get mobbed whenever he stepped out in public. So I used to be very proud ki mera papa hai. (Laughs) Every son’s first hero is his father, so yeah.
Which of his films do you love the most?
Hero, of course, and Shiva Ka Insaaf and Parinda.
What is the best piece of advice he has given you?
Always listen more and speak less – and to think before speaking as well. Professionally, he has always asked me to respect my seniors. I’ve also been taught to treat everyone with the same respect, from the lightmen to the director. That’s why my father has so much respect in the industry.
Tell us about your fitness mantra.
I think for me it’s a state of happiness. Mentally and emotionally being fulfilled – that, sort of, is at the core.
What inspires you to aspire to such strenuous fitness goals?
My idols inspire me. Both of them – Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson – had been such perfectionists in their fields. I’ve always wanted to be like them. I’ve always wanted to be a ‘superhero’ like them. In the industry, I look up to Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar when it comes to fitness.
Which superhero would you want as your nemesis?
Spiderman. I’d like it to be me versus him. I want similar powers to what Spiderman has, but I will just use them in a villainous way — something like the black Spiderman.
Are you critical of yourself?
After every film, I keep telling myself that ‘I should have said that line this way’ or ‘I should have danced like this’ or ‘maybe I should have kicked with my body leaning back a little.’
Do you watch your own films?
I can’t. There’s something about me watching myself. On the big screen, everything gets so magnified. Every little detail is so blown up.
Did you ever crush on your father’s leading ladies?
Madhuri Dixit! I love Madhuri. I didn’t get to meet her much as a child. I recently ran into her at an award function. That too was a “Hi Bye” sort of a meeting.
Who is the hottest woman in Bollywood right now?
I think Aishwarya Rai is an eternal beauty. She looks fantastic, from what I’ve seen of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil through the promos and songs. In this generation, all of them are cute, but no one possesses the appeal of Aishwarya.
If you could date someone from the industry, who would you ask out?
I think they’re all taken, so no one, I guess.
What is your idea of a perfect date?
Go to a restaurant and have some great food together. Follow it with some ice-cream, drop her home and come home and sleep. Or go to the cinema and watch films. I like caramel popcorn (laughs).
You follow 95 people on Instagram. Which of them do you stalk regularly?
I think the fans I’ve made. I follow some of them. It’s nice to stay in touch with them. They make edits and everything that really encourages you. These are the people who have supported me even before my first film came out. They always win every contest at every promotion that I go for. I always see the same bunch of people. It’s very heartwarming to see them coming back. I know them by name now. I like all this attention, so it’s great.
Which is the last film you saw and loved?
I watched Troy on TV the other day. I love that film. I want to do something like what Brad Pitt did in it.
This article was first published in February 2017
Featured Image: Shirt by Levi’s; jumper by Brooks Brothers; joggers by Louis Philippe; shoes by Mochi
Assisted By Neelangana Vasudeva
Hair Styled By Amit Yashwant Yadav
Make Up By Rahul Kothavale
Location Courtesy: Smaash, Mumbai
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