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I had not even heard of Dibakar Banerjee: Sadashiv Amrapurkar

Some actors fade away from our vision but remain etched in our memories thanks to their past performances. Sadashiv Amrapurkar is definitely one of those.

Sadashiv Amrapurkar
Pic/Satyajit Desai

The veteran actor who laughs at rumours about him suffering a heart attack is upbeat about his role in Bombay Talkies. He also rues that the actor in him is still waiting for the perfect role. In a tete-e-tete, the 62-year-old recluse admits to having no filmi friends and shares his views on several topics ranging from career to cinema.

How did Bombay Talkies happen?
The project’s assistant director approached me saying that Dibakar Banerjee was interested in casting me for his short film. And I was like “Who?”...I hadn’t even heard of Dibakar! At that point, my daughter told me about him and his work and made sure I agreed.

You’ve been away from the limelight for a long while now. Don’t you miss Bollywood?
Why should I? I’ve never said that I’m retired or don’t want to do films anymore. Just that the roles that come to me are often repetitive in nature and I’m brave enough to refuse them. Earlier, when I started my career at the age of 32, I wanted to do films to get recognised. Once I established myself as an actor, it was about making money for family. But now things are different. As you grow older, your priorities change.

But you’ve been quite active on the Marathi theatre front...
That’s because plays are my passion. And speaking of Marathi theatre, there are artistes out there who dabble in different languages when it comes to stage but I’ve stuck with Marathi because this is the language I dream in.

And you also dabbled in television in between?
Yes, that’s one decision I’m not very proud of. When the offer of a daily soap came my way, I thought why not try the small screen because I hadn’t done it before. But as days passed by, I realised that it’s not my cup of tea (laughs).

And what about films? Do you follow the ongoing trends?
I have nothing to say because I don’t visit multiplexes as such to catch up on what’s going on. I won’t be able to recognise today’s young stars. But whatever little I’ve seen, I’d say I’m not a huge fan. At least the ’80s and the ’90s were original as we weren’t aping the West then the way we are now.

How do you usually spend a free day?
I read a lot. I also practise painting. I’ve been travelling as it’s important to explore new places. In my spare time, I dedicate myself to social service as well. I neither drink nor smoke and I have small needs so I can tell you I’m doing fine (smiles).  

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