Real-time Stock quotes, portfolio, LIVE TV and more.
Jul 12, 2012, 08.23 AM IST
In this edition of Beautiful People on CNBC-TV18, meet Naseeruddin Shah. The actor’s nearly 40-year career in cinema ranges from mainstream, parallel, art and commercial, to masala, independant, regional and urban. His talent for acting has helped Indian cinema find a rare authenticity.
To watch the complete show, watch the accompanying videos.
Q: Another movie, more Mumbai, a cop role, another interview, what is it you would like us to see ‘Maximum’ for?
A: For the truth of its story-telling, for the commitment behind the filmmaker’s intentions and for a desire to make an accurate movie about a subject which is sensitive and often brushed under the carpet, but is important to talk about- the incidence of authority and how much authority should be vested in individuals. That is what the film is about.
Q: How are you picking your roles because ever since ‘Bombay Boys’ in 1999, you have become the patron saint of all these guys who have managed to get the funding to make films that are not quite parallel and yet not mainstream?
A: I go entirely by instinct. I am always more sympathetic towards people who are having difficulty raising money because it is very traumatic and very humiliating for a young filmmaker who has poured his heart and soul in a script to then try and peddle it.
It is equally humiliating then for him to try and sell it later after it is complete. Just making the film is not enough. So, I have just tried to extend a help.
I don’t think I have done any favours or been a patron saint of any kind. It is just that I have always relished the thought of being part of cinema which will survive. An actor is remembered only via the films he has done.
A lot of very fine actors will probably be forgotten because they didn’t do any worthwhile films in their lives and I don’t want that to happen to me. So I am being selfish in my own way. I am opting for a small film like ‘Charlie Ke Chakkar Mein’ or ‘Michael’ rather than a mainstream film.
Not because I enjoy saying ‘no’ to money, but because I feel those are the kind of films that will give me a chance to explore something in my work and will be remembered, hopefully
Q: So it is important to enjoy the process also after you make your choices?
Q: How critical is it for you as a human being to enjoy being part of a project?
A: Being part of the team is crucial because if you don’t feel you are part of the team, you stand out like a sore thumb. That was the trouble with me in some of the big commercial movies that I did. I just didn’t fit in, I could see that when I saw the movies. I was saying to myself, ‘What is this guy doing in a film like this?’ I think I am able to be objective enough about myself and I seemed wrong in a film like ‘Tridev’ or ‘Karma’ even though they were huge successes and helped me.
Q: But it was important for you to explore, to give it a shot?
A: Yes sure.
Q: Why was that so important at that time?
A: Anybody who becomes an actor becomes one because he wants to be popular. Nobody becomes an actor because he is serious-minded about cinema. If you are serious about cinema, you wouldn’t become an actor, you would become a writer or something like that.
All actors want to be noticed, it is a simple truth. I come across so many young actors today who say, ‘I never wanted to be an actor’. That’s all bullshit. Anybody who has become an actor always wanted to be one. I don’t understand why people go to such pains to deny it. Everybody desires has to be liked, to be looked at, and to be responded to.
I did films like ‘Tridev’ and ‘Karma’ because quite simply I relished the thought of playing the hero who wouldn’t?
Q: Yet in retrospect, did you care for what you did?
A: No, I wouldn’t say that. It’s just I never got any better at it. I wasn’t very good to start with. I don’t think my performances in ‘Tridev’ and ‘Karma’ are particularly good. I just pulled of that dance number with panache, which was something nobody expected and that was why I was liked so much. I am unable to play that kind of larger than life kind of character.
May 23 2013, 16:33
- in Asian markets
May 23 2013, 09:33
- in Technicals