After almost four decades of showcasing his acting prowess, Nana Patekar is no longer keen to do just any film that comes his way. “Whether I act or not makes no difference to anyone. I am not sure if people even want to see me act anymore,” says the formidable actor.

In fact, cinema is no longer his main calling, as Patekar now wants to espouse social causes. He can’t comprehend how actors, especially stars, are mute witnesses to the happenings around. Known for his candour, he says, “Actors must speak up. They should use their star status to make people aware.”

Being selective
Patekar has Shekhar S Jha’s Happy Anniversary releasing later this month. The romantic drama also stars Mahie Gill. After featuring in Mahesh Manjrekar’s critically acclaimed Marathi film Natsamrat (2016), which fetched him accolades, Patekar was keen to do something lighter. “I have always done all kinds of roles and worked with established and new directors. I only say yes to a project when something clicks. I always ask for a bound script in advance. Sadly, Bollywood doesn’t function like that. I have done Welcome (2007) and Welcome Back (2015). Anees Bazmee would be writing the script at 9.30 am for a 10 am shoot. In 30 minutes, how can an actor prepare and get into his or her character?,” he questions.

Patekar is known for his versatility. His filmography boasts of serious, funny and offbeat roles. “As an actor, you should not limit your roles. You have to take on all genres,” he says.

No reality shows, please
One aspect of Bollywood that the senior actor detests is the in-your-face-promotions these days, which includes doing the rounds of TV reality shows. “It is silly to go on these shows. You need to talk to make people aware that your film is releasing, but why parade on TV shows? I would instead prefer to talk about my causes.”

In 2015, Patekar started working for the welfare of drought-ridden farmers in Maharashtra. He helped widows of farmers who’d committed suicide and later established an NGO to aid drought-hit farmers.

The actor also wants to contribute towards the welfare of the Border Security Force jawans and their families. He has extensively travelled to the border areas to understand the conditions they work in and the hardships they face. He has also been helping the families of the martyrs. “This is my calling now,” says Patekar.