Actor Om Puri has plenty of films to his credit. But the veteran enjoyed working with filmmaker Prakash Jha so much that he’s unwilling to leave the film set and return to Mumbai.
Puri is currently in Panchmari, (a hill station in Madhya Pradesh) where Jha is shooting his next film, Chakravyuha, in a month-long schedule. Puri plays an idealistic Marxist in the film based on left-wing extremism.
A source from the unit explains, “He (Om Puri) wrapped up his portion of the schedule within two weeks, but he is staying on for a week longer. When anyone asks him ‘What’s the matter, why are you still on location?’
he says, ‘I’m enjoying the location and the weather’.” This is obviously far from the truth, since the summer heat is already blazing down on the hill station. Moreover, the unit has shifted to the outskirts of the hill station to shoot portions in the jungle, and are forced to go without electricity for hours.
So what is keeping Puri behind? The source explains, “He wants to extend his role in the film and has been trying to persuade the director (Jha) to comply.”
To cajole him further, Puri even performed a small skit called, ‘Mera Role Badha Do Prakashji’ (Expand my role, Prakashji).
Jha found it quite amusing, but didn’t respond. Apparently, he is still keeping the 61-year-old actor in suspense.
He says, “It was quite a surprise. The entire unit of actors playing Naxals in my film, including Abhay (Deol) and Anjali Patil, joined him. They did a cute skit in which he twisted his role to show the other possibilities that could exist in the film.”
Despite his best efforts, all Puri got in response was, “Hum vichar karenge (I will think about it).” Jha adds, “Though it has been over a week since the skit, he hasn’t given up and greets me daily with a huge smile, claiming I must be thinking about his role.” The duo had earlier worked together in Mrityudand (1997).