By Sugandha Rawal
He made his acting debut as a child in “Masoom”, and went to do projects like “Papa Kahte Hain” and “Mohabbatein” before getting into direction. Jugal Hansraj says he enjoys directing more than acting, and wants to bring out the world of his self-authored children’s book “Cross Connection – The Big Circus Adventure” on the big screen via an animated film.
Despite getting projects by big banners, Jugal’s acting career failed to take off, and his attempt with direction with “Roadside Romeo” and “Pyaar Impossible!” also bombed at the box office.
But Jugal is not disappointed with the failures, and hopes to continue on his path and explore new things in the creative world.
“I do acting, but not frequently. I was in ‘Kahaani 2’ and did a web series ‘Time Out’. Acting is going as and when something really interesting comes my way. If I be honest, I enjoy directing more than acting. So I would love to direct again,” Jugal told IANS in a recorded response.
“In fact, what I would love is take my book ‘Cross Connection…’ and make that in an animated film.”
Best remembered for his innocence in “Masoom” and “Mohabbatein”, when Jugal walked into the industry, he had an ambition to just take up lead roles. But he says he has matured over the time and wants to try different things associated with his profession.
Currently, he writes scripts at Dharma Productions and has turned an author by writing an adventure book for children.
Reflecting on his initial years in the industry, Jugal said: “When I look back, I feel very fortunate that I have been able to do so many things starting with acting as a child, and doing lead roles, singing and dancing, doing character roles which I am still doing.
“And then writing… I directed two films. Now, I am working with Dharma Productions and I am developing scripts for them and (have) written books. I am happy to be able to do so many things and I hope to keep doing more interesting things.”
How has his aspiration changed over time?
“When I entered the field… Since I am not from a film family, I was in awe… I didn’t know how to go about the movie business but I enjoyed being a part of it. What has changed now is that I don’t want to stick to one thing. When I entered, I wanted to act and I only wanted to do lead roles but now I am open to doing interesting things.
“There is good content, good writing, good directing and good opportunities, so I am happy as long as I am in creative field. I am happy to try different things.”
He is eager to take up the challenge to make an animation film on his book.
Jugal’s animated film “Roadside Romeo”, for which Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan lent their voice, won a National Film Award. He rues the lack of Indian animation projects, and praises foreign productions like “Coco” and “Sing”, which was aired in India on Sony Pix.
“There is talent. The animators are doing fantastic work and projects are outsourced to India… It is changing in the sense that it is growing, but it is something new for Indian audience.
“It is only a matter of time because the talent is all there. It is a matter of time when the audience starts getting used to and accepting these kinds of films and it will be huge like it is in the West.”