Naseeruddin Shah went through an image makeover of sorts after Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya in 2010. Following that, he stunned everyone with his flamboyant avatar in the Milan Luthria movie, The Dirty Picture. Now, he’s playing a corrupt cop in Hriday Shetty’s Chaalis Chauraasi.
Ask him about this interesting professional phase he’s going through and he credits it to the lack of too much fame. “The fact that I never attained major stardom was a blessing in disguise. I am content because this is what I hoped to achieve. I am getting a lot of opportunities now, but had I been a star, which is a saleable component, I perhaps wouldn’t have,” says Naseeruddin, 61, who will
be seen dancing to three songs in Shetty’s film.
Even though he created a niche for himself with several critically acclaimed films and National Award-winning performances in his initial years, for a long time Naseer regretted not being able to impress audiences with commercial outings.
“When I had black hair, they made it white, and now when I have white hair they make it black. There was a phase in my career when I tried doing such things and failed. I feel fortunate to get this second innings,” says the actor, who feels Bollywood could never utilise his potential. “The industry has never known what to do with me or what category to slot me in.”
However, he is grateful that now he is getting roles he enjoys essaying. He adds, “The industry has offered me a lot in terms of variety and is giving me a good life. I don’t get work because I can sell, but because I can deliver. And that’s the best position one can be in.”