After two decades Naseeruddin Shah teamed up with his oldest colleague and accomplished actress Shabana Azmi for a Rohit Roy directed short film titled Rice Plate and said it was fun shooting despite the fact that he didn't have too many dialogues in the film.
"It was great fun shooting with Shabana after so many years. We've also done an unreleased film Libaas together. This time in Rice Plate Shabana has all the dialogues. She plays a talkative Malayali woman while I watch her silently. I play an ordinary insignificant man. My speciality!" Naseer told IANS.
Tell Naseer that Shabana isn't his favourite actress, and he guffaws.
"Actually Shabana's mother Shaukat aapa (Azmi) got there first. Shabana never stood a chance with me. Shabana and I hatched this joint conspiracy that if we come together it'd only be for a 10-minute film. That way audiences will be left craving for more."
Some of Naseer's and Shabana's memorable joint ventures were Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Ek Pal, Mandi, Masoom, Paar, Pestonjee, Shart, Sparsh. Their last film together was the unreleased Libaas, which was directed by Gulzar.
<b1>Speaking on his current career move, he said: "I've made nothing happen in my life. Just gone with the current. Audiences will get to see me in small films. I've just completed a film called Wednesday."
"A young man named Neeraj Pandey has directed it. I've always had more faith in the younger generation of filmmakers. It's the best script I've read in years. It tackles the train bombings in Mumbai two years ago."
Of late, a lot of roles with a social conscience like Parzania have been coming his way.
"But it's always been like that. Such roles have always come to me. I guess it's because filmmakers have sensed some sort of commitment from and within me. I've never broken my back to seek out any kind of roles," he said.
Naseer is wise enough to realise his strengths as an actor.
"I guess my strength has always been playing these ordinary people. I'm never a superman who can vanquish all opposition, but the common man who can grapple with working class crises.
"I used to get a lot of such roles in the 1970s. Now I guess the younger filmmakers are re-discovering the cinema of their consciousness. And I'm glad to be part of their vision."