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I am young at heart and want to stay so: Usha Naik

Usha Naik doesn’t let her age be a deterrent when she is taking up projects and is keen to do more experimental films

regional movies Updated: Jul 28, 2018 19:31 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Usha Naik,Marathi,Milind Ukey
Usha Naik doesn’t let her age be a deterrent when she is taking up projects and is keen to do more experimental films(HTPHOTO)

Having started out as a background dancer and junior artiste, veteran actor Usha Naik has featured in over 250 films. Known for her impeccable dancing skills, Naik later went to be the lead in several films in her five-decade-long career. This year, the senior actor will be seen in Milind Ukey’s Monsoon Football, which stars Sagarika Ghatge, Chitrashi Rawat, Vidya Malavade, Pritam Kagne and Delnaaz Irani.

Naik says that she has seen various phases of the Marathi film industry. From being known to make dramatic films to classics and the latest crop of unbearable trends, the veteran has seen it all. “Honestly, people started noticing my work after Ek Hazarachi Note (2014). Till then, they knew I was an actor and a great dancer. However, after this film they believed I could act ‘well’ (smiles),” she says.

Naik likes to be a part of films that are helmed by talented directors. Through her experience, she has seen that no matter how great a script is, if the director is not good enough, the film does terribly. “I have seen films where the director gave in to the actor’s demands and ruined a perfect story. Hence, I pick a director and not a story,” she says.

Talking about Monsoon Football, she says, “Milind (Ukey, director) is an excellent person with great skills. He is a director, who is true to his script. He is clear in his head, which helps in the long run for a film.”

At 62, Naik shows no signs of stopping and wants to do as many experimental projects as she can. She adds, “I am young at heart and want to stay so. I do have health issues but I don’t let that be a deterrent. I feel evergreen at heart.”

Naik finds many similarities between herself and her character in Monsoon Football. The Half Ticket (2017) actor says, “I found a lot of resemblance between me and my character. She is eager to learn and experiment. She is strong and determined just like me. So, I enjoyed portraying a part of me on screen.”

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 19:30 IST