Deepti Naval, the pretty actress of yesteryear speaks about actor Naseeruddin Shah on the occassion of his birthday.
DEEPTI NAVAL in a conversation tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that NASEERUDDIN SHAH is part of her psyche as an actor on the occasion of his 59th birthday. Over to Deepti Naval-
“I think that Naseer is a much better actor than a director, because he has not explored that side of his as a director. It is sad that though I have worked with him as a co-actor, in films like Katha, Mirch Masala, Mane, Junoon, Apna Jahaaan and Firaque, I did not get the opportunity to work under his direction when he made his debut as a film director. It is only when you get to see his body of work as an actor that you can evaluate his growth as an actor.”
“I worship him as an actor. To observe him was actually my first acting lesson on the sets of Junoon, when I knew nothing of acting, not even the A, B, C, though I was confident as a youngster of acting. It was after watching him constantly that I learnt what it is to prepare for a role, though at that point of time I had my own method of acting. The best part of Naseer is that he makes himself feel the part that he is setting out to play and the amount of work that he puts into his performance is not the kind of teek hai is mein kya hain, hum kar lenge kind.”
“Luckily, when I was working on the sets of Junoon, I had the great opportunity to observe actors like Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Jennifer Kendel, Kulbushan Kharbanda, etc, but frankly I was enamoured by the way Naseer approached his work as an actor. Katha and Mane were two films in which I was lucky enough to have had full-fledged wholesome roles. Especially mine, as well as Naseer’s roles in Katha were written superbly with small nuances by Sai Patranjpye who had directed the film.”
“I do not like the fact that he gets angry on the sets. I still remember Naseer cursing away to glory on the sets of Mirch Masala. Though Naseer is one actor who allows himself the luxury of getting angry, he is a very interesting co-actor who never distracts you, and is professional to the core as an actor. Without making it look like he is guiding you or teaching you, Naseer will lead his co-actors to an area which is very exciting for him or her to explore. It is a very great quality in any actor, especially since most of the actors only try to distract you from doing your best when you are pitched with them. ‘Do not be afraid to do your best’ is the message that I have often got from him, without him actually making it obvious or even telling you that. His mere presence on the sets is very reassuring for his co-actors, even if he does not hesitate to call a spade a spade.”
“Naseer also has a sweet sense of humour and the ability to charm you quietly. Paar, Mirch Masala, Sparsh, Manthan, Katha, Firaque, Monsoon Wedding and A Wednesday are films of his which come to my mind when I think of his sterling performances. Naseer is a very sincere co-actor, who does not at all resort to one-upmanship with his co-actors in an industry where, there are actors who are insecure and play all sort of games.”
“I have learnt a lot as an actor from Naseer, without being trained by him, just by keeping in mind how he concentrates on his performances. I think he is part of my psyche as an actor. The best compliment that I got from Naseer was when he told me that my USP as an actress was that I had no mannerism, manner or style. The comment coming as it did from a great actor like him was all the more reassuring and a great learning by itself for me”.
– Bollywood features and interviews / Sampurn