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Young actors are amazing, they’re happy giving retakes until it’s perfect: Neena Gupta

Impressed with the younger crop of actors, cinema and TV veteran Neena Gupta says that they’re extremely hard-working. Also, she says, the focus has shifted to good acting from the song-and-dance routine.

bollywood Updated: Sep 04, 2018 17:01 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Neena Gupta,Sonam K Ahuja,Sonam Kapoor
Actor Neena Gupta was most recently seen in the Bollywood film Mulk.(Photo: Amal KS/HT)

Actor Neena Gupta, a veteran of nearly four decades in cinema and television and a National Film Award winner, caused quite a stir when she took to social media in July 2017, seeking work. She let the industry know that she’s “available” and needs “good work”. Her daughter, designer Masaba Gupta, spoke proudly of her mother’s drive as a professional. Since then, Neena has had her kitty full again — what’s more, she has been working with the new crop of actors and has been marvelling at how hard-working they are.

Read | Neena Gupta: Not been even a year and I’ve already done five films

“Main toh hairan ho gayi thi dekh kar ki kya kaam karte hain aur kitni mehnat karte hain (I was amazed to see how well they perform and how hard they work at it). I’m mighty impressed with these younger actors. They’re doing very well. I remember in Mulk, Taapsee would remember each and every word of the script and the way she used to discuss [it] with the director in front of me, I’d be speechless,” says Neena, 62, who was seen in Veere Di Wedding (co-starring Sonam K Ahuja) and Mulk (co-starring Taapsee Pannu). Another film of hers, titled The Last Color, had its teaser unveiled at the Cannes film festival.

Enjoying her second innings, Neena says that working with the younger crop of actors has been the best experience. “They are all so, so amazing because they’re not scared to be in front of [senior actors]. They’re very respectful and extremely hard-working. They’re not like ‘Okay, it’s too late, we have done our 15-hour shift, so let’s pack up.’ They’re like, ‘If you [director] are not happy, take another shot.’ So, they’re happy giving retakes one after the other,” she says.

Love thyself

A post shared by Neena Gupta (@neena_gupta) on

Next, she’ll be seen with Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra (Badhaai Ho); Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra (Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar); and Kangana Ranaut (in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s recently announced film, Panga). Drawing comparison with her heydays, Neena says, “In our times, there used to be more concentration on dancing and singing, but nowadays, the focus is on good acting. You pick any actor and they’re good at what they do, unlike our times when we had very few realistic actors in the commercial space.”

Besides co-stars, Neena is equally amazed by the young directors’ body of work. “All these young directors are so passionate and dedicated, and it’s interesting that the minute you do something wrong, they will catch you,” she quips.

Digitalisation, she feels, has made a lot of difference. In the old days, she says, “There were very few takes and director had to depend on the cameraman’s vision. There were no monitors also at one time. Now, the director has a lot of freedom and can experiment with things.”

Neena signs off, “Also, the films that I’ve done are very realistic, based on middle-class people. I have not done any historical or period film. So, I’m very happy that I’m getting to do diverse roles now.”

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First Published: Sep 04, 2018 17:00 IST