I couldn't take the easy way out: Naseeruddin Shah

With his career spanning over decades, Naseeruddin Shah admits he is finally feeling fatigue creep into his body. The actor, who is known to be choosy while selecting his roles, explains why he cannot sign every film that comes his way...

Naseeruddin Shah

Suddenly a lot of conventional roles are coming to you...
At this stage of my career, I don’t want to do every film that comes my way. Incidentally unlike earlier times, suddenly there is an influx of very interesting films being offered to me. But I am a bit fatigued now and I can’t take up every film.

Why the sudden change?
I think that when I was younger the film industry didn’t quite know what to make of me. Because I refused to get slotted right from the beginning of my career. I was scared I would get used to feeling comfortable playing the policeman or the cook in every film. But to survive, I couldn’t take the easy way out every time.

What are your children up to?
Hiba’s having a bit of a struggle right now but that’s good for her. I am happy she has been living by herself since the past five to six years and is earning her own living. Imaad too is trying to figure out a living through his many music gigs. Though he borrows money from us from time to time (laughs). And he shows up at home whenever he is hungry! Vivaan too is biding his time. I got my first film when I was 24. Vivaan has just turned 24 and he still has time on hand. I have left them to their own devices.

You have taught your kids to be independent.
I will help them out if they start to flounder. Or else I let them make their own decisions. I hope the influence of theatre is stronger on my kids than of cinema as I don’t consider myself a star and our lifestyle is not like that. We don’t socialise with film industry-types but we talk about cinema for sure. I hope they can do something more with their lives than just being stars in films.

You are playing a godman in your next.
It’s actually a spoof on the kind of godmen we see around us all the time. Some of them are really funny. The kind of nonsense Asaram Bapu has been talking off late... they deserve many more such jabs.

What’s happening on the theatre front?
A big season of plays is coming up and it includes a bit of travelling. We may be going to Pakistan for a play. 

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