It is typical to describe Nana Patekar as the eccentric actor. In fact, so typical is that description that Nana himself is bored of it, and he has no qualms admitting that he refuses to dismiss the popular persona the media has created for him. It would be silly to further deconstruct his on-screen image and see Nana just as a normal being with exceptional talents. He insists—as indeed he has done so in many of his previous interviews- that he doesn’t go on a killing spree or beat people on the road like his on- screen characters laden with idiosyncrasies do. [Read: Ab Tak Chappan movie review]
We met the 65-year-old powerhouse of incredible talent ahead of his forthcoming release Ab Tak Chhappan 2. Nana looked amazingly relaxed. Contrasting the monotonous grey and boring Tee that he was wearing, Nana’s demeanor reflected range facets of his interesting personality. We asked him why was Sadhu Agashe, the furious cop, has been summoned by Force and Nana galvanized into action to verbalize the need to get propel the character forward in the sequel. “You must watch the film to know the answer. All I can say is that in the original movie Sadhu was younger and fitter. He is 60 plus now but he still as tremendous fire in his belly. He wants to suppress the guilt and the anger he holds in his heart. But now the circumstances are such that only Sadhu’s expertise and his integrity are needed to solve the problems. Even now Ab Tak Chhappan is shown regularly on television. So I just had to revisit the character by injecting Sadhu Agashe in me,” explains Nana.
Somehow Nana is satisfying the artist in him by playing some enviable characters in regional cinema, Marathi cinema in particular. But he is not exactly playing equally intense roles in the commercial Bollywood space. Is he not getting roles his acting prowess commands? “Honestly speaking, Actors like me are not getting good scripts and exciting roles. I feel I don’t fit into the commercial set up of Hindi cinema and couldn’t jell with people who are money minded. As an actor I’m getting job satisfaction playing good roles in regional cinema then why should I run after inconsequential roles in Hindi cinema which will give me little more money. I want to satisfy the actor in me,” Nana shoots back.
Sadhu Agashe is a tough cop but he is equally vulnerable. Nana has constructed that no-nonsense character once again on the big screen. How does it feel to sink to the character which is as intense as Sadhu? Does Nana find any similarities between his real self and that of the reel one? I’m very fortunate that I’ve got the medium through which I can let out my angst, suppression, anger. Just imagine what normal individuals must be going through in their daily lives. Do they have any outlet to let their frustration out?” questions Nana.
He looks incredibly fit at this age. We even saw his pictures where Nana was seen pumping the iron in the gym. “See, it’s a visual medium I work in. Nobody likes to see ugly body on screen, whether it’s a woman or man.” States Nana matter-of-factly.
What’s with this facial fuzz? Is his Nana’s new avatar for his much awaited next Welcome 2, one wonders. “No this particular look is for Natasamrat. . I play a 70-year-old man who’s ageing. It’s quite emotionally draining. I’m not able to sleep. It’s totally in my system now. Natasamrat is an old Marathi play. The title character was played for the first time by legendary actor Shriram Lagoo almost 40 years ago. I saw the play when I was a kid and was quite fascinated by it. I wonder whether I’ll ever get an opportunity to play Natasamrat on screen. Fortunately, I got the chance now,” he concludes.