Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has been a part of films and theatre for almost four decades. Over the years, he has seen acting schools flourishing in the country. However, he is vehemently against the current state of acting training in India.
“There are no acting teachers in the country, they are all shams, they are all frauds and I have no hesitation in saying this. All these people running acting schools are absolute and utter frauds, they are fooling the kids who come to them and teach them nothing”, says Shah, who started his career in 1975 with the film Nishant and eventually acted in critical and commercial successful films such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Masoom, Sarfarosh and , A Wednesday.
The 66-year-old actor also adds, “There is no acting teacher in this country and it is a really unfortunate thing, considering how old the film industry is.”
The actor was a student of National School of Drama before he entered film industry, but he does not feel it is compulsory for everyone to attend an acting school. “I believe that anyone who is passionate about acting can learn on his own. Dilip Kumar never went to an acting school, Amitabh Bachchan never went to an acting school, Kamal Haasan never did yet all of them are such fine actors. An actor trains himself and that is what I believe. Being in an institution is conducive to learning,” he says.
Then why did Shah attend an acting school?
“I learnt at National School of Drama because I had the urge to learn. I was exposed to many things I was not exposed to before, so my horizons widened, but you can do it on your own as well. I don’t think it’s essential for an actor to go to a training school to train yourself,” he says.