Tigmanshu Dhulia’s forthcoming film Shagird will see Nana Patekar play a corrupt cop and director-actor Anurag Kashyap as a gangster. The director admits he was scared of Nana’s temper tantrums while approaching the veteran actor for the film. He reveals, “When I went to meet him the first time, I took distributor friend Sunil Vora along with me and asked him to knock on the door, if I didn’t come back within an hour. To my surprise, everything went well.”
In fact, Tigmanshu confesses that with Nana on the sets there would be “tension in the atmosphere and it wasn’t easy working with him.” He admires Nana and says the actor has seen life closely, from painting posters to essaying hard-hitting roles in serious cinema. Such artistes can have their “eccentricities”. He says, “He did give suggestions, but what he said made sense and it wasn’t about his role, it was about the betterment of the film he was worried about.”
The filmmaker maintains that both he and Nana were conscious of not emulating Ab Tak Chappan (2004), because he played a corrupt cop in that movie as well. In fact since people had seen him in a similar role before, Tigmanshu made sure Nana’s character had a lighter side to him. He adds, “He is a walking encyclopedia of music and knows which singer, lyricist or film a Hindi song is a part of. In an intense scene, if he hears a song on the radio, Nana’s character would break into a comic spurt talking about the song.”
Anurag, says Tigmanshu, is the “surprise element” of his film. “Shagird is a treasure hunt and Anurag is the booty. The film starts by establishing the terror created by the gangster in UP badlands,” he says. All praise for the actor, Tigmanshu says he had first seen Anurag act in a Makrand Deshpande play long ago and had decided to cast him. “Anurag has the gift of gab and mouths dialogues really well,” he adds.