'I am not a good filmmaker': Naseeruddin Shah
Mumbai Feb 19 : Naseeruddin Shah will be taking on self-proclaimed godmen in Makrand Deshpande's directorial venture Sona Spa. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the veteran actor in Mumbai
What is the storyline of Sona Spa?
It's a spa where you can buy sleep. Someone else will sleep on your behalf while you can continue doing your work and still be refreshed. But the catch is, that person will also be able to see your dreams.
What are you playing?
I am playing Baba Dayanand who owns Sona Spa. He keeps making philosophies which sometimes you understand and sometimes you can't. He is never visible in person, but always appears on television screen.
So, you are taking a dig at godmen?
Yes, you are right. My character is a satire on all self-proclaimed godmen, who are in excess in our country.
How was it playing a godman?
It's amusing to play a godman because sometimes I see these characters on television and they are really very entertaining. And I would want to play such a part someday in a full-length way.
Did you ever feel the need to go to a spa to buy sleep?
(Laughs) I will never go to such a spa as I love sleeping. I would rather earn my sleep than paying for it.
Who do you think needs a Sona Spa the most?
I think Bollywood actors will need this kind of spa the most. That way, they will be able to do six shifts a day and will also not be late for shots saying they were sleeping.
Have you even been to a spa?
No, never. I don't like being massaged by strangers.
With lots of new subjects being experimented with, what, according to you, should the main focus of today's films?
See, the responsibility of films should not always be to portray the present reality as it is, but also to present the reality you want to see.
What is your priority when you choose a film?
I am at a stage of my career where I want to enjoy the work that I do. That's my priority. I want that to happen more than anything else. As a results in the last three years or so, I have done four films none of which turned out very well. But I don't regret doing them as I enjoyed doing them. Like, what drew me into Sona Spa is the desire to be a part of such a project. It's not a great role. I sit on a chair and talk a lot of nonsense. So it was not one of the most challenging roles that I have ever done.
What is more important for an actor - to have a good role or be a part of a good film?
I believe actors are not remembered as how good or skillful they were, but through the films they do.
Be it Ishqiya (2010), The Dirty Picture (2011) or now Sona Spa (2013), don't you think your presence adds variety to a film?
Well, a lot of films I have done so far had a lot of variety. There are even other (good) movies which have not seen the light of day, there are also recent ones like Maximum (2012). But the 'variety' is not because of me; it's because of the writers and filmmakers.
You seem to always try to pick 'different' roles.
I don't try hard to be different, but choose different subjects. Actually a subject that I have done many times does not appeal to me. Instead, when I get a character like that in The Dirty Picture, it becomes really exciting and I have great fun shooting such films.
After Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006), we didn't see you directing a film.
You will never see me directing another film because I don't think I am a good filmmaker. I was personally disappointed with my film and wished to get a chance to make that film again. But one thing I have realized, and that is, making films is a very tough job. --IBNS