I was ecstatic when I found out that Nana Patekar was going to be on the show. His acting in Khamoshi was truly incredible, and was perhaps the first film in which an Actor made me cry. The topic was Cinema-Work of Art or Fame and I could not think of anyone better to have on the show to talk about this subject for he is someone who has conquered both genres with aplomb.

When Nana Patekar arrived in the studio he had a certain aura about him, and I have to say that his insight, experience and wisdom, particularly about the film industry was amazing.

His humility and kindness shone through, his love for nature and zest for life was apparent for all to see. Not only did he recite his infamous “Macchar” dialogue but his versatility and honesty came across for the world to see.

We spoke about his journey into acting and his brand new film Hemalkasa which was due to be premier at the London Indian Film Festival the following day. He found the role easy to essay as he had personally interacted with the protagonist Prakash Amte in real life. Nana said, “Acting is all about doing ones best!” As a child he felt like he was not the favourite child and took part in theatre simply to get his father’s attention. He was reluctant at first to venture into films, but upon Samita Patil’s insistence he gave it a shot! “I did my first film for Rs 50 but every single moment was well worth it!”

In regards to Bollywood’s Generation Next, Nana said, “The new crop of actors are great and work hard, however, there is a tendency to get things too easily. Instead of sticking to the regular commercial films they should hunger to get their teeth into more fleshy roles.”

Nana continued to talk about his career, his family, his struggles and much more. It was perhaps the most extempore interview I have ever had in my life and in fact perhaps the most enjoyable. I was delighted that he felt so relaxed in the Zee Companion studio to have spoken about all of these with such honesty and openness.

I attended the Hemalkasa screening in Cineworld Haymarket the next day and I must say it was truly an incredible film. You really do feel the plight of each and every single character in the film and it is fair to say that each and every person had a tear in their eye at the end of the film. I feel privileged to have met and interviewed this unique and veteran actor Nana Patekar.