The incomparable Naseeruddin Shah plays a role inspired by, hold your breath Fernando Rey in the 1971 crime caper classic The French Connection,
After the success of Ishqiya there are lots of movie offers that Naseer is considering. "Suddenly my enthusiasm for film acting is up. I'm looking at a lot of parts. At the moment, I've Dev Anand Saab's Charge Sheet where I play this underworld don who operates in Mumbai from Dubai. The character's look and traits are inspired by Fernando Rey in The French Connection. I loll around in bed with this lovely lady."
Characteristically Naseer is clueless as to who's playing the "lovely lady". What prompted Naseer to accept the film? "It's Dev Saab's film. No one says no to Dev Uncle. He's one of the most charming gentlemen in our film industry."
Naseer recently returned from Bangalore from what he describes as one of the most incredible experiences of his life as an actor.
Recounting the experience, Naseer says, "It's always a pleasure to perform on stage in Bangalore. We were doing this really intense moment from Waiting For Godot at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall when this irate lady with an old gentleman in tow simply walked on to the stage to complain about the cars parked outside."
For a few minutes, Naseer and the other actors were thrown completely off-course. "All of us on stage were first jolted and livid. In all my years as an actor this was a first. No one had ever done such a thing. I immediately decided to call of the performance."
But then better sense prevailed. "I soon realized the lady had a long-standing and understandable grievance and she had been suffering for a long time because of the parking issue. So we carried on after a break. But I must say it was the theatre of the absurd at its absurdist. Incredibly the lady left the stage after triggering off a chaos in the middle of our Godot. The poor gentleman accompanying her was left to his own devices on stage."
Chuckling at the memory, Naseer says. "It's always good to look at the absurd side of life. But imagine what such an experience would've done to a young actor just starting out. What inspires and enthuses me the most at this point of time is to teach acting. The look of hope and joy I see in the kids' eyes as they listen to me is truly inspiring."
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