Nana Patekar, who's known for his erratic behaviour, got the taste of his own medicine, when filmmaker Prakash Jha decided to bear his tantrums no more and kicked him out of the film.
Jha, who has vowed never to work with the temperamental actor again, has already made the necessary changes in the script and has shot Nana’s scenes with other actors.
Commenting on what actually triggered the face-off on the sets of Rajneeti in Bhopal last week, an annoyed Jha tells a daily, "That morning (October 27), Nana started throwing tantrums right from the time he reached the sets. It was a very small issue. I wanted to shoot a scene in a particular way and he wanted it done in a different way. I tried to reason with him but he just lost his cool. I told him to calm down and get back to work but he suddenly said, ‘Mujhe tumhare saath kaam hi nahin karna hai.’ He left the sets, went to his van and changed his clothes. I went to his van and told him that behaviour of this sort doesn’t look nice and we should get on with work but he left for the hotel. He then told the production guys to give him his tickets to go back to Mumbai. When the production guys asked me, I told them to give him the tickets.”
Did he try to stop Nana? “I guess he had made up his mind to walk out and I did not want to stop him. After he left, I immediately reworked the scene and started working with the other actors. When you walk away from my sets, you cross all the limits. When he was told that I was shooting despite his absence, he called to ask how I was shooting without him. I simply told him that I was going to shoot all his scenes without him. He said, ‘No wait, I am coming back,’ but I categorically told him, ‘I don’t want you on my sets. You have left the sets and you have done the damage.’ He was shocked but that was the end of it and he left for Mumbai that very day,” said Jha.
Jha added, “He has been constantly angry and annoyed but we continued to work. I agree that I will have to make some creative compromises but I have to live with it now. There were some vital scenes with Nana but I have made changes and shot those scenes with other actors. Whatever changes I have made won’t hamper my film. What has happened, has happened. Now that he is not around me or in my film, I feel less burdened.”
“I always treated Nana like family. He is a very temperamental guy. I always believed that if one person in the family is hot tempered the others shouldn’t follow suit. When Nana speaks, he does not realise how abusive he gets and how he humiliates people. I am the only one who can calm him down.”
Talking about his relation with Nana, Jha said, “This was not the first fight between us on the sets of Rajneeti. Every time I consoled myself saying that such things do happen. I always told Nana that I took his nonsense only because of our friendship. If I wouldn’t stand by him, no one would. But this time, he took it too far and now it will be very difficult for me to forgive him. Nana is a very dear friend and I have been tolerating his behaviour for a long time.”
When asked if there was any chance of reconciliation, Jha said, “Nana has been around for a long time and so have I. Nana is very helpful and we had a great time during the making of Apaharan. It’s just that I no longer want any negativity or bad vibes on my sets. Nana has been calling me (after the fight) and I spoke to him on Saturday. He told me that he was sorry and was feeling very bad. I feel sad too but what’s done is done. I will always pray to God for Nana’s well-being but for me the professional and personal relationship is over.”