Of late Nana Patekar has done a lot of films about bonding with younger co-starsAjay Devgan in Apaharan, Abhishek and Riteish Deshmukh in Bluffmaster and John Abraham in Taxi 9211.
But his bonding with his Ab Tak Chappan co-star Nakul Vaid remains unique. "We did Ab Tak Chappan and now we've done Yatra together.two completely opposite films by directors who could've been born in two different time zones," guffaws Nakul who changed his look to play a filmmaker in Gautam Ghose's third Hindi film.
"When I worked with him for the first time, I was as intimidated by him as anyone else. In fact I was friendly with his son Malhar and quite scared of his father. It took me a while to know Nana-ji is moody but an extremely generous man. He loves to eat and feed his friends. So if he heaps you with food you know you've been accepted by him. The thing with Nana-ji is, he's a complete film person. If you work with him you sign yourself into an institution on cinema. Nana recommended me for Ab Tak Chappan after we worked in a long-forgotten film called Vadh. That was the first time we worked together."
In Yatra, Nakul plays a director. "I've long hair and I put on some weight. I had to play someone older. A lot of the plot came from director Gautam Ghose's life. It's one of the finest scripts I've come across. It's a pleasure to be part of something so brilliant. As for Nana-ji, it's unbelievable how well he performs. I feel rejuvenated as an actor." He's inspired by his director. "Gautam-da knows your sensitivities as an actor. He never allows you to feel you've performed wrongly. He understands the capabilities of an actor and works accordingly. He's always sure of himself and yet willing to improvise."
Nakul is stepping through the maze of career decision with extreme caution. "That's why I signed just one film after Ab Tak Chappan , and that's Yatra. The kind of offers that I got were just not exciting enough. Instead of doing some mediocre films I chose to do a socially relevant serial like Rihaee. I want to be part of anything good on any medium. On tv I want to do Buniyaad and Jassi. In cinema I'd like to be in Black or Ab Tak Chappan."
It's another matter that Rihaee didn't turn out the way Nakul had thought. "I can pretend I was entirely happy with Rihaee. It didn't shape up the way I thought. But it was fun working with Divya Dutta and Rajeshwari Bandola. I look forward to working on tv again. But not in the average soaps. I'd love to work in Balaji Telefilms. Their work ethics are fantastic. But I'd do tv only when I'm offered something substantial."
Now Nakul is going to be seen in another film. "Suddenly producers are coming forward with worthwhile work. I've completed director Kamal Nathani's new love triangle With LoveTumhara with Pravin Dabas and Preeti Jhangiani . I play an army man. A love story is something I've never done before. I liked the director's sincerity when he came to me. I like that atmosphere of preparedness which I witnessed during Yatra and now this Nathani film."
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