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Updated on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 06:28 AM IST

When Naseeruddin Shah was introduced to Boomerang by Lara Dutta Bhupathi!

The iconic actor gets candid about his web series Kaun Banegi Shikharwati, the experience of working with gen Z actors and more
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Naseeruddin Shah, who is known for his ethereal acting chops, is all set to enthral one and all in an upcoming web series titled Kaun Banegi Shikharwati. He will be seen as a king in the show. It also stars Soha Ali Khan, Lara Dutta Bhupathi, Anya Singh, Kritika Kamra, Cyrus Sahukar and Varun Thakur. It will premiere on Zee5 on January 7, 2022. We caught up with him for a conversation. Excerpts:

How was it to shoot with the cast of Kaun Banegi Shikharwati?

I had a ball while shooting with all these girls and the rest of the cast and the crew. I fell in love a little bit with each one of them. I have to admit, even though they were playing my daughters, a fact is a fact (smiles). The entire cast pampered me hugely. They were all kind and affectionate. Which I really appreciate, so it wasn’t very difficult for me to ask the character to want all these four characters to come together and not keep going at each other’s throats. It was a real delight to meet them, interact with them and work with them. It was great fun.

What makes you greenlight projects?

I should feel like doing that particular character and project. I go by my instinct. I either feel like doing it, or I don’t. There may be many reasons for feeling like doing it. It may be a very good part, or I may feel like working with the director. It may be wonderful locations or lots of money. It could be any of those or many others. But in some way, I should feel like doing it. When this project came to me, I just felt like doing it.

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How was it working with Raghuveer Yadav?

Raghuveer is hardly from the new generation. Raghu is my generation, the ancient and prehistoric one (laughs). To tell you the truth, I wanted to swap roles with Raghu when I heard the script. I told the director Gaurav (K. Chawla) that I want to play this part. But he did not humour this request of mine.

What difference do you find in your way of working and the younger generation of actors?

They draw a lot of inspiration from their mobile phones. I don’t. In fact, I have proof of that (he shows us a Boomerang from Instagram). Sitting up in a line, all four of them all decked up, and they are on their phones. Whenever I am on a mobile phone, I may be checking an important email or something.

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So are you the new Boomerang champion?

No, you cannot call me a Boomerang champion. My first experience was when Lara asked me to come and stand in this queue. I didn’t know what they were doing. I thought they were clicking a photograph or something. But when I saw it, I realised that it is something that is playing again and again. I didn’t Boomerang after that. I really am not a social media champion. In fact, there is a section of media that I try to avoid strictly like the notifications. I am not so much of a social media person.

You have played so many iconic roles in your illustrious career. Anything that is still there on your wishlist?

I think I have done everything as an actor. I want to be part of projects which will be fun, and I have the chance of being remembered. They must say something more than just a simple story. That’s what I want to do. I have had plenty of opportunities. I am very grateful for the kind of opportunities I have had. Incidentally, at the institute when I studied, I was a student given the least chance of succeeding in the industry. As it turned out only the two of us have survived; the other one is Shakti Kapoor. It’s not a joke. In fact, Shakti was one of the best students in the class, and I was one of the backbenchers. I always look forward to the next project.

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Published on: Sunday, December 26, 2021, 06:28 AM IST
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