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Nana Patekar gets Candid —-”I will be the last person to copy anybody”

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Ek Machchar Aadmi Ko Hijda Bana Deta Hai…Well, this is the famous dialogue from the not-so-famous film Yashwant that epitomized Nana Patekar brand of crowd pulling tricks. His unconventional acting style has been widely applauded in films like Ankush, Thoda Sa Roomani Ho Jayen, Salaam Bombay, Parinda, Agneesakshi, Krantiveer, Khamoshi – The Musical and the more recent Ab Tak Chappan, Bhoot, Bluff Master and Aparahan. In a freewheeling interview with IndiaFM, Patekar talks about his forthcoming film Hattrick and yes he is finally ready to turn a director again after the eminently watchable Prahaar.

Why did you sign Hattrick?
Because of the format of the film and story. It is happening simultaneously when cricket world cup is on and what’s happening at three different locations. The way Milan wants to narrate the story is something I loved.

You are a sports buff yourself….Was that a motivation for doing the film?
It’s not that. It’s how you project it which is most important. Here it is a unique style of storytelling….that’s why I felt like doing it….

You worked with Milan in Taxi No. 9 2 11…Have you developed a comfort level?
With Milan there’s a big aspect that he is not a rigid guy. Some directors are so rigid that they want certain things exactly the way they feel is right. He gives you a lot of space that helps you improvise as an actor.

Naseeruddin Shah was supposed to do Danny’s role…
I felt bad because for the first time Naseer and me would have been together but unfortunately because of his son’s accident he couldn’t make it.

Nana Patekar

Nana Patekar

Do you think releasing the film during World Cup is a wise move?
Absolutely….And mind you India is going to win this World Cup. I am sure. This is the best team we are having.

Films based on sports generally don’t do well…Except for a Lagaan…
Hattrick will be an exception…

Why do you do so few films?
No…I do a lot of films. This year I am doing six seven films. Already I have completed four films.

There were reports that your portions in Anees Bazmee’s ‘Welcome’ are incomplete…
There are a few minor things. Unfortunately I have shaved off and now it’s not possible to shoot immediately. I said I can’t put artificial beard as it is not comfortable. Yesterday only I had a meeting with them….It’s a matter of one or two days they’ve said.

How do you keep on reinventing yourself and still be commercially viable?
People get fed up with the same thing. It all depends upon what kind of director and story you get. It’s not possible to improvise in isolation.

What is your criterion for choosing a film?
Meaning in the story and story telling. The narration part of it and the basic story. It’s not just my role that I am interested in because you can’t think about your role in isolation.

Do you think Box Office before signing… as your films should do good business?
I never thought about Box Office. It’s not in my hand. While doing a film I put my 100% and I will be focused till dubbing. After dubbing my creation is over. After that I am not concerned with my film. Mostly I don’t watch my film or watch them maybe, when they come on TV…

Why aren’t you directing films after making a fine debut in Prahaar?
I am directing now. It’s not yet titled. I am directing for Prakash Jha. But I can’t tell you anything about the story idea.

What kind of filmmakers have you grown up on?
V Shantaram, Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak…

Who have been your idols or role models in life?
Sunil Gawaskar is my idol. He taught me that any normal human being can be anybody if he wishes to. No body…No height…nothing…and he became a world class batsman.

Any actors that you’ve idolized?
I have liked so many people but I will be the last person to copy anybody. Eventually you learn things by experience and hunger and humiliation. If you’ve faced that then obviously you will perceive everything in a different way. That teaches you most.

What are your passions besides acting?
Shooting. Recently I played Nationals and I won a bronze. I scored 550 out of 600. From the beginning I wanted to do it. But then I didn’t have a weapon, time and money. Now I have little money, little time…

Nana patekar interview

Do you believe in competition?
I want to beat one person and that is myself. If I am 100, I want to be 101 tomorrow. There’s competition only with myself and not with anybody else.

How do you stay young…You don’t seem to be aging?
I don’t know if you are saying it genuinely. But I am 57. I workout everyday. I can’t come out of house without working out. It’s an obsession.

Do you think films like Water are selling India’s poverty and backwardness in foreign market?
I am really against it. Whatever my country is….good, bad ugly. I will try in my whatever capacity, to improve it. But I don’t want to show that kind of image and if somebody is selling those images and making money then that is ridiculous.

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