I was influenced by English cinema and absurd plays: Anant Nag

Actor Anant Nag at BIFFes on Tuesday.

Actor Anant Nag at BIFFes on Tuesday.

Multilingual actor Anant Nag, whose retrospective has been playing at the 12th edition of Bengaluru International Film festival (BIFFes), said that English cinema and modern absurd plays of the 1970s had a deep impact on his acting style.

“In my initial days in Mumbai, I started with three-act Konkani plays and did a lot of comedy, and slowly joined Satyadev Dubey, Girish Karnad and others who were doing modern, absurd plays. I was also seeing a lot of cinema, both Indian and English, which offered a contrast of acting styles. I consciously chose a realistic, subtle style for myself,” he said during a conversation with senior journalist and film critic Muralidhara Khajane on Tuesday.

“Many of the directors did not get that style and taught me something else during rehearsals, but once I took to stage, I performed only in my style, to which the directors were initially resistant. But as the audience responded well to my performance, I carved out a niche,” he said. “In the initial days of my film career in Kannada, after a short stint in Hindi cinema, directors used to ask me not to do ‘Bengali acting’,” he recounted.

Like so many of his contemporaries, including Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar and Pankaj Kapur, would he consider returning to the stage?

“Girish Karnad recently asked me if I would play the role of Aliya Ramaraya in the production of his last play Rakshasa Tangadi . But I find theatre physically too tiring today. I don’t like to look back. I have adapted well to cinema, and am comfortable acting in cinema. An actor is the same either on stage or before the camera,” he said.

Talking of his stint in politics, he said he was disillusioned by the system which “does not allow you to do what you want to.”

He feels that he failed to make an impact in politics. “As a minister in the 1990s, I stopped acting for three-and-a-half years. But I realised that I was an actor and politics was not my cup of tea,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 3:18:12 am |