Ekta Kapoor’s The Dirty Picture revolves around a Silk Smitha-like starlet and her relationship with three men—one loves her, another lusts after her and the third hates her. Naseerudin Shah admits that he’s the second guy. “My character is an ageing superstar, a lusty old goat,” he laughs. “I’ve not modelled him on anyone in particular but have used various stars I’ve come in contact with in Mumbai as a reference to the way he behaves since I don’t know any of the South matinee idols. Only my look and the dance that took me 10 days to shoot, is drawn from the South film industry.”
The internationally acclaimed actor is all praise for his Ishqiya co-star Vidya Balan, who’s stepped out of her comfort zone to enact this character. “Vidya is marvellous, one of the finest actors we have around!” Shah exclaims. “Konkona (Sen Sharma) and Tabu are wonderful and I rate Vidya just as highly. With this movie she’s going to surprise everyone. She looks devastating, the camera loves her.”
Prod him on whether he’s seen any of Silk Smitha’s sizzling item numbers and he smiles, “I saw one of her Malayalam films whose name I don’t remember. It was years ago when I was at the institute (FTII, Pune) and I found it very funny. I think our movie will be more flattering to her memory.”
Shah’s not in Krissh 2—“I was hoping Rakesh (producer-director Rakesh Roshan) would bring my character back to life in the sequel but he brought in Jacqueline Feranandes instead” —but he will be a part of the Ishqiya sequel that is still being developed. “Meanwhile, there’s 4084 and The Dirty Picture, both of which should wrap up by the month end. The Blueberry Hunt in which I play a marijuana planter, Colonel, is coming up for release followed by two Anurag Kashyap films, That Girl In Yellow Boots and Michael. In Michael I play a cashiered cop who’s going blind. Maximum too should roll soon and I’m also working on another film with A Wednesday’s writer-director Neeraj Pandey that should also flag off by the year-end. This year we launched two new Bernard Shaw plays on stage, My George! And Arms And The Man. I was planning one more but that will have to wait till 2012. My plate is full,” he sighs.
It’s been five years since Shah debuted with Yun Hota To Kya Hota. When will he direct another movie? He laughs, “When someone who is out of his mind lets me make whatever I want.”