Om Puri was destined to be an actor , until stardom caught up with him in unexpected ways. Today he’s the toast of the turnstiles as well as the festivals. This affable softspoken ‘character’ actor is enjoying every moment of his success. Om’s cup runneth over. But he isn’t running away anywhere right now. Not even to Great Britain where a majority of his international projects are shot.
Tell me about your funniest birthday ever?
Many years ago when Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Sha
You’re in so many international films?
I’ve never been desperate for opportunities. I’ve always believed in a certain rhythm of life. I don’t want to do two shifts, and I won’t. To me a 100 Foot Journey is as exciting as a documentary I’ve done in Bangalore against corruption for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. I like Bangalore and I liked the concept . So I flew down.
When do we get to see you again in that one film that revolves around you?
There’re very few films like that here. My success abroad is akin to the situation I faced here after Akrosh wherein I was only recognized by the intelligentsia and directors like Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray responded to my performance.Ardh Satya was my breakthrough in the commercial circuit locally. Now I need one film like Ardh Satya international
So are you a bigger star abroad than at home?
No. Because I’m recognized in even the smallest town of India. Here I’m a star without the glamour and the glitter. I walk into any town and I’m decently mobbed. Some years ago I was embarrassed to be called a star. But not any longer
Why have you decided to cut down on his work-load?
Enough is enough. I’ve slogged for thirty years. I’ve accumulated a decent bank balance(though it may not be decent by Bollywood standards). I’ve done roles for fun and for job satisfaction. Now I need to take it easy. I keep turning down offers. I need a break.
Why have you done so many bad films in Hindi?
I’ve a son. He needs careful nurturing. I can’t just sit back and relax. My colleague Naseer(Naseeruddin