I have to work with like-minded people: Nana Patekar


Vishwanath Patekar, best known as Nana Patekar, is an Indian philanthropist, and theater and movie actor and is reverred for his performances in movies such as Prahaar: The Final Attack, Krantiveer, Ghulam-E-Mustafa, Deool, Natsamrat (which he also produced) and voiced the character of Shere Khan in the animated fantasy adventure The Jungle Book.

In 2013, Nana Patekar was awarded the Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, for his contribution in the field of arts. 

Although Nana has slogged very hard to achieve what he is, today, he is selective about the projects he takes up. When he is on the sets, one needs to answer the queries he has. “An integral part of Patekar’s process is to have clarity regarding the film’s approach, its shot divisions and other details before the filming begins,” says Rajwade. So, in case of Aapla Manus, they started working on the script six months prior to the filming and tried to address other production-related concerns. 

Regarding Patekar’s stand on the kind of movies he wishes to take up, the director says that for the 68-year-old actor “cinema is a medium to express what he wishes to share with the public”. Even though the movie, which also features Sumeet Raghavan and Iravati Harshe, deals with contemporary relationships and family values, the narrative is treated like a thriller. 

During the conversation, Patekar makes several references to his age. He keeps repeating: “How long am I going to be there? I’m 68”. Of late, he has abided to one movie-a-year policy. “I get offers but I have to say no to them. After all, I have na-na (no no) in my name. I can’t do multiple films simultaneously. Most importantly, I have to work with like-minded people,” he says. According to him, no one is a star today and content is what can make or break a film. “A film won’t do good business if the content is not good. What’s important for me is what are you conveying in a movie. Stars are like thalis. What you serve in these thalis is what matters,” says the actor is known for his performances in movies such as Parinda, Krantiveer and Diksha.

Next, Patekar will be doing a historical film, set in the 1820s, with Rajwade. He is mostly tight-lipped about it but tells us that the climax is already decided. “A team of writers are working on the movie, which is going to be an expensive project,” says the actor, who has been toying with the idea of directing an unusual love story for a while. However, he is still unsure about his return to direction. “Direction takes up a lot of time. I might direct this story at some point or maybe ask someone else to do it,” say the actor, who entered the industry in the late 70s with movies such as Gaman (1978) and Simhasan (1979). He rates Prahar (1991), the only film he has directed, as his best. “It’s my best film. Then come others. I have written and directed it, apart from acting in it. If the movie has any flaws, then I am responsible for them.”