2017 promises to be a year with a crop of new challenges for the unimpeachably talented Naseeruddin Shah. The year starts with Karan Johar’s production of Ok Jaanu where Naseer plays Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shradha Kapoor’s landlord looking after an ailing wife.
Says Naseer, “I did it because it’s a remake of a Mani Ratnam film,with an interesting role for me. My part was played by Prakash Raj in the original.”
Danseuse and the former chairperson of the censor board Leela Samson who played the wife in the Tamil film encores her part in Hindi.
Naseer thoroughly enjoyed working with Ms Samson and with director Shaad Ali. “Leela is absolutely delightful.She’ll be the surprise package of the film.”
Interestingly the longevous actor Naseer has worked with director Shaad Ali’s father Muzaffar Ali in Umrao Jaan . Comparing the father and son Nasseer finds Shaad a better director. “Shaad as a director is much more on the ball than the elder Ali.”
Later during the year Naseer will be seen in an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare. No stranger to the Bard’s screen adaptations Naseer is excited about this one. “The film is called The Hungry and we just completed shooting it in Delhi.It is adapted from one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays Titus Adronicus. The play is not that well-known. But it’s brilliant . The film is directed by a very bright young woman Bornila Chatterjee.”
Perhaps the most intriguing of Naseer’s assignments in 2017 is a Gujarati film called Duh about a kid with a learning disability.
Says Naseer, “It’s a children’s film where I play a magician.It is directed by ManishSaini, his first film.”
This isn’t the first time that Naseer does a Gujarti film. “I’ve done one of my most well-known films Ketan Mehta’s Bhavni Bhavai in Gujarati. I also did another Gujarati film Naseeb Ni Balihari which was directed by Nimesh Desai. It was Paresh Rawal’s first film, and also starred Smita Patil and Om Puri. Both gone now.”