A refined actor in the world of cinema and theatre, Naseeruddin Shah is nailed his debut for his bad looks. On Wednesday, January 2 Naseeruddin Shah in a conversation with veteran actor Girish Karnad at the Jaipur Literature Festival as Shyam Benegal gave me ‘Nishant’ because of my bad looks.
Naseeruddin Shah said “I lost a girlfriend because I wasn’t good looking. And, I got a role in ‘Nishant’ because I wasn’t good looking.”
He didn’t get much work even after ‘Nishant’, which was a National award winning movie. He also discussed about his close friend and fellow actor Om Puri and his previous experience of teaching acting at various acting schools, disappointment for not being a commercially successful actor.
In’ Nishant’ also he dint got a fame and the roles he was getting were either of a union leader or a police officer who would say ‘tumhe chaaro taraf se gher lia hai’ or of a doctor whose expertise was in saying ‘Maine injection de diya hai’. He was disappointed that he never became a celebrated star and he says his fellow actor Om Puri, to a good face over acting also affected as well rejected by a jury for his not-so-good looks.
He added “I feel dissapointed at times that I couldn’t not succeed in commercial cinema, but then I have swallowed that like a pinch of salt now.”
He has learned more than he could teach his students as acting is something that is learnt, not taught he added. He ended the session by reading brief paragraphs from his autobiography titled ‘And then one day’.
He has appeared in various different kinds of movies like ‘Bazaar’, ‘Katha’, ‘Masoom’, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’, ‘Woh Saat Din’ and ‘Sarfarosh’ among others and has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards and an award at the Venice Film Festival.