The very talented sisters Ratna and Supriya Pathak are married to the super-talented actors Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor. While the sisters have never been seen together in a film, Naseer and Pankaj were seen together almost three decades ago.
Yes, Naseer and Pankaj did star in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Maqbool. But they had no scenes together. And now, in young talented director Nitin Chandra’s Company Ustad Naseer and Pankaj would be seen sharing screen space. The actors who share a cordial though distant rapport in real life are said to be extremely wary of being cast together.
“I’d love to work with Pankaj. He is a fine actor. But the script has to justify our presence,” said Naseer to me not too long ago.
Many directors have tried to cast the two stalwarts together, and failed.
Apparently Nitin Chandra who made the critically-acclaimed Bhojpuri film Deswa relentlessly pursued the two actors with a hard-bound script and with roles especially ear-marked for both actors.
Says Nitin, “It was really Naseer Saab and Pankaj Saab and no one else for these parts. The characters they were offered are rare in Indian cinema. The film is a bio-pic and those two roles are rigorously researched and designed. I have been working on the characters for four years. The script is powerful enough to invite the presence of actors like Naseer, Pankaj and Manoj Bajpayee.”
Further adding Nitin says, “They have challenging roles to play. I’d like to think they saw honesty in my intentions and were quite taken up by the narrative.”