Mumbai: From villain to comedian, from deaf and dumb to schizophrenic - in the last 40 years Nana Patekar has fiery performances in multiple avatars. But the actor candidly admits he doesn`t allow a director to take full control unless he is confident of his or her capability.
"I submit myself totally to the director provided the director has that capacity; otherwise I fight," Nana, 60, who was last seen in ‘Rajneeti’ last year, told reporters in an interview.
The actor is known to avoid watching his own films and certainly never heaps praise on them.
Asked why, Nana said: "I don`t see my films because once I finish dubbing, my creativity is over and nothing fascinates me, not even the release of the film. I can`t change anything. If I were directing a film, I would stay with it till the end."
He is eager to work with directors like Raj Kumar Hirani and Neeraj Pandey.
" `Munnabhai M.B.B.S.` is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I would like to work with Rajkumar Hirani. Another person I would like to work with is Neeraj Pandey. His `A Wednesday` was an amazing movie," he added.
Some of Nana`s memorable performances were in ‘Parinda’ (1989), ‘Krantiveer’ (1994). ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’ (1996), ‘Wajood’ (1998) and ‘Welcome’ (2007).
After wearing the grease paint for years, Nana doesn`t have to make extra effort to get into character.
"Subconsciously you keep on gathering things in you personal life. I have been in this field for 40 years and it`s like blotting paper, you know. You keep absorbing the good and bad of different real characters," said Nana, who is planning to direct his second film.
A lot has been written about how Nana`s character in ‘Shagird’, releasing Friday, is loosely inspired by late encounter specialist Rajbir Singh, but the actor says he doesn`t know anything about the similarity.
"I really don`t know whom my character resembles. You should ask the director and the producer. This character has dark shades. He is loyal to himself, not to his profession," said Nana.
He had earlier played an encounter specialist in ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’, in which his character resembled Daya Nayak of the Mumbai encounter squad. Did he make a conscious effort not to repeat himself in ‘Shagird’?
"My director had seen `Ab Tak Chhappan`, so obviously when he offered me the same kind of role, it had to be different from what I have done before. It`s his responsibility - if I were repeating anything, he would have corrected me. I am fortunate that I got such a nice director," said the actor who rarely watches his films.
But he bent rules for ‘Shagird’.
"The film will surprise you again and again. I normally don`t say good things about my film. Fortunately, I have watched this film and this is not because of me, it is because of Tigmanshu Dhulia. He narrated the film so well," said Nana.
His list of dislikes is longer than likes and one of the few things he appreciates is filmmaker Anurag Kashyap`s acting in ‘Shagird’.
"Anurag is fantastic. He has done theatre. Normally, directors are awful actors, except a few. When they act, they look so lousy. Raj Kumar Santoshi is a wonderful actor and Kashyap is an exception. He is really nice. He has quite a big role," said Nana.
He plans to reach out to TV audiences with a docu-feature on historically significant places from across the world.
"I have some concept in my mind, which I am going to shoot, and then I would give it to some channels. This is not commercial kind of stuff. I would go abroad, shoot in different places and narrate the historical significance of that place. It won`t be a travelogue.
"I have been doing the research for many years. It`s not possible for you to shoot it in two or three months. During the winters, you can`t shoot at many places," said Nana.