Bollywood Hungama recently broke the news that Ananth Narayan Mahadevan is all set to create history as his 4 directorial ventures – The Storyteller, The Confession, Aata Vel Zaali and Phule – will release in 6 months. The Confession, starring Nana Patekar, is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023-end.
EXCLUSIVE: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan defends casting Nana Patekar in The Confession despite #MeToo episode: “Why should it bother me? I can name 6 others who have been forgiven and forgotten. Let’s not pin him down. And it’s not even proven”
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan exclusively told Bollywood Hungama why he cast Nana Patekar for The Confession, “I have had a long relationship with him. We acted together in Hum Dono (1995). I directed the promo for his play called Purush where I didn’t even show his face. Instead, I showed his feet. I was worried he might react badly. But he said, ‘This is excellent’! One day he called me and said, ‘Let’s do something together’. This is when I narrated the story of The Confession. It’s about the first priest in India who was sentenced to death. This wasn’t the cinema he was used to. There were no monologues or no raving or ranting. He instantly said that he would love to do the film. The shoot went on smoothly.”
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan further said that he and Nana Patekar “were like two peas in a pod” and had a great tuning. He continued, “Just a week ago, he told me, ‘Mujhe picture dikhao’! It was a Sunday and yet, I opened up Red Bulb (preview theatre) and got the DCP from the studio. He came along with his Man Friday Prasad. The producer Subhash Kale and I also saw the film. When the end credits started rolling, I saw Nana standing and clapping. Prasad was crying. They hugged me.”
He narrated an interesting trivia, “When we were shooting for The Confession in Goa, (my other film) The Storyteller was to be screened in IFFI. I asked Nana if he could come for the screening. He came and told me, ‘Picture accha nahin laga toh main 2 minute mein nikal jaunga. Bura mat manna’! I sat in the front row, to make sure nobody was walking out! After the film, he got up, embraced (lead actor) Paresh Rawal and told me, ‘Nasha aa gaya’! He went on about the film and even talked about it at night. I told him, ‘Stop it. Tomorrow, we have an early morning shoot’! When you have someone like him who genuinely likes the cinema that I subscribe to, there’s still hope.”
Nana Patekar was embroiled in the #MeToo controversy in 2018. He was dropped from Housefull 4 (2019) and for a long time, nobody wanted to cast him. Didn’t this episode bother Ananth Narayan Mahadevan?
He retorted, “Why should it bother me? I can name 6 others who have been forgiven and forgotten. Let’s not pin him down. And it’s not even proven.”
He added, “Moreover, he’s very intelligent and innovative. Before a scene, he used to pick up a paper and draw the straightest lines in the world! And then he would start writing his dialogues. I told him, ‘Sir, you are like a school kid’. He would do it as he was absorbing it and working on it. Why would anybody do this? Our actors would like the script and be like, ‘Okay, chalo’. He’s not like that.”
Besides The Confession, Nana Patekar will also be seen in The Vaccine War. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri. It releases in cinemas on September 28.
Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s The Storyteller expected to release in cinemas in September; BLASTS new-age filmmakers who are hailed for making sensible cinema: “Their films are inspired by Tarantino and Scorsese. The violence pours out like an avalanche so that it is graphic enough for the world to accept”
More Pages: The Confession Box Office Collection
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