It’s not easy dragging Nana Patekar away from his farm near Pune to a film set. But the actor, who has been shooting Priyadarshan’s Malamaal Weekly 2 since February 17 admits he’s having a blast. “I don’t feel like I’m working. We’re shooting in Wai which is similar to my farm,” he says.
Shreyas Talpade has replaced Ritesh Deshmukh as the romantic lead in the sequel that co-stars Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor and Asrani. “It’s been a while since I’ve worked with Om Puri. Both of us are senior citizens now,” laughs Nana who turned 61 on January 1. “Yes, I’m 61, but I feel like I’m 16.”
Shreyas Talpade and Nana are the two new entrants in the comic caper and the latter admits to having seen and enjoyed the earlier film. “Shreyas is an amazing actor along with being a good human being. As far as I’m concerned, since dialogue is minimal, it’s a challenge to express something without words,” he says.
There’s another sequel in the making, Ab Tak Chappan 2, and the buzz is that after Sahil Saple stormed out of the project over Nana having too much of a say on the sets, Ram Gopal Varma has now officially appointed Nana as the director. “I don’t know if I’m an official or unofficial director,” he retorts. “ When I’m on the sets, I usually offer suggestions, but it’s up to the filmmaker to accept or reject them. I don’t know if they’re going to put my name in the credits or not but it’s nice working with Ramu again.”
Nana, a national level shooter, says that the sport helps him play the role of an encounter specialist once again in Ab Tak Chappan 2. During the Nationals in Pune last November, he had said that he’d do a movie to sponsor promising shooting talents such as Lajja Goswami, Navnath Phadtare, Sanjeev Rajput and another young sportsperson with the money he’d earn.
How does he view India’s prospects in the sport in the coming Olympics? “I’m quite sure we’ll win gold. But I can’t tell you who will be up on the podium. Abhinav (Bindra), Gagan and the rest are all equally good, but it totally depends on who would perform the best that day.”