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Naseeruddin Shah: Being labelled unconventional not my doing

Naseruddin Shah says that being tagged an unconventional actor wasn't his idea, and it happened as he was mostly chosen for "different" kind of movies.

Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah. Pic/Shadab Khan

The actor has frequently taken up commercial films such as "Krrish", "The Dirty Picture" and even "Welcome Back", but he is largely considered a product of the non-commercial cinema.

About the unconventional tag, he said: "I don't think I have any choice about that. I suppose it was because of the fact that my career began in the different kind of cinema. It wasn't my doing, I was chosen for those movies. I might have preferred to become a popular kind of actor working in the song-and-dance kind of movies, that's not how it happened.

"So my being labelled as unconventional is not my doing."

About his lack of "fear of failure" in the industry, Naseeruddin said: "You can call it self-confidence, you can call it madness. It all depends on how the whole story ends up, whether it's called this or that. But I was perfectly convinced that this (acting) is what I was born to do and so there was no point thinking about what'll happen if I don't succeed."

He was present at filmmaker Shyam Benegal's retrospective on the latter's 81st birthday on Monday.

Naseeruddin said he's particularly fond of Benegal's "Nishant".

"It is special for me because it was my first film. And the role that was given to me and the way he guided me, I got to learn a lot... On an emotional level, it is obvious why the film is so dear to me," said the actor, who's currently busy with theatre.

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