Mumbai: In an industry where being a star is considered a career-high, Jimmy Sheirgill says he was never bothered about becoming the number one actor and always focused on giving his best as a performer.
"I remember going to a gurudwara when I got "Maachis" and saying 'Lord, I am new to this place and I don't know about stardom but just make sure I am not a bad actor'. That is all I have always asked for.
"All I want is whenever anyone talks about me they should talk in a respectful way," Jimmy told PTI.
"Maachis", directed by Gulzar, won the actor a lot of critical acclaims and Jimmy says working with the noted director in his debut was a blessing.
"I couldn't have asked for a better school than Gulzar Sahab. I got to learn every bit of filmmaking. Gulzar Sahab once told me, 'never let the fate of a film become your fate or get into depression if it fails, move on to next project and keep yourself busy'.
"He also said, 'there is no worst thing for an actor than sitting at home, actors should keep working all the time'. These things are still in my mind," he added.
Jimmy said post the release of "Maachis", he was offered similar parts till filmmaker Aditya Chopra's "Mohabbatein" happened, which he believes was a game changer in his career.
"They (makers of "Mohabbatein") saw me and took me the way I was. Then I realised that I can't keep doing romantic or lover boy roles as I would not last for more than four-five years if I keep playing a romantic hero.
"Luckily, 'Munna Bhai MBBS', 'A Wednesday' and 'Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster' happened. While doing these films I did not think I am moving towards character roles. Whatever leading roles I was getting were something I had already done. I am glad that I made this decision."
Jimmy, 47, said he feels glad about the fact that he was never out of work.
"There is lot of work for everyone. But many times you become overcautious or choosy about what you want to do. Whatever offers I get I chose the best from them.
"...I had to keep working. I have also done guest roles for films of my friends. Then I have Punjabi films to do. I look to do something substantial and interesting with every film."
The actor has an interesting line-up of films, including "Happy Phir Bhag Jayegi", an untitled film with Ajay Devgn and a sequel to "Tom Dick and Harry".