Arguably India’s finest acting talent had announced his possible retirement from Bollywood a year ago, owing to bad experiences with his movies under-production then. The actor is all charged-up again, given better roles and films.
Back in April 2011, actor Naseeruddin Shah had announced that he was giving up his reel life. He had said, "I’m losing hope that we’ll ever make good films."
Now, remind him of that shocking statement and he says with a laugh, "I will never say such a thing again. Actually, I had intended to do that last year. But suddenly, four-five interesting projects came up."
Naseer goes on to explain what prompted his decision to retire, saying, "I had done two films — which I won’t name — but they were absolutely miserable experiences. And I didn’t feel like doing another film for the rest of my life after working in those two."
Both films, interestingly, were with new filmmakers. "I was embittered by first-time filmmakers and small-budget cinema. But then, some lovely projects came up starting with The Dirty Picture followed by Michael, Maximum and Chaalis Chauraasi."
Despite putting on his dancing shoes for the Vidya Balan-starrer, the actor says he’s fed up with old formula films. "I really don’t want to do any of those films. I don’t think I am any good at them. I need a new kind of cinema," says Naseer, adding he was happy to do a scene in Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) with Farhan Akhtar, who played his estranged son, since it moved him.
"But I have not watched that film yet. I will do such films — maybe one per year — when I need the money. And as for working with youngsters like Neeraj (director Neeraj Pandey in A Wednesday, 2008) or Ribhu Dasgupta (in Michael), Kabeer Kaushik or Hriday Shetty (Chaalis Chauraasi), I am not doing anyone a favour. These are the films I want to do," he insists.
But tell Naseer that people can’t stop talking about his outing in a commercial film, and he quips, "What do you mean, ‘people can’t stop talking about it?’ They will be discussing it 20 years later too when I am in a wheelchair. People used to sing Oye Oye (from Tridev, 1989) to me, but it has now been replaced by Ooh La La"
Ask if he has plans to direct a film again after Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006), and he replies, "The thought of directing a film is
frightening, but it’s a challenge I shouldn’t back away from. I failed in every possible way with my first film. And I find it difficult to live with. I am putting it out of my mind for the moment. But I wish I had a chance to make Yun Hota… again."