Naseeruddin Shah recently in an interview talked about the Hopkin’s award winning turn, his own take on the character and how he approaches ageing, death and life.
He said that the moment he learned that Anthony Hopkins is doing this film, he was sure that he’s going to win the Oscar.
On being asked how did he get into the skin of such a complex character, he said that he didn’t attempt to get inside the head of this character as it would have been attempting the impossible. What he did was to keep his outward behaviour as honest and real as possible according to what the plawright had written. The interpretation was already there in the script and the entire play is written from this man’s perspective.
He also added that he drew inspiration from a doctor who works with Alzheimer’s patients and a friend whose husband suffers from dementia.
When asked how difficult it was to stage such a complicated play he replied that the reason he had not done this particular play for a very long time is because he needed a certain number of continuous shows to do the play. “We’ve plans to revive the play in July/August first in Pune and then bring it back to Mumbai.”
On being questioned about his views on aging in his personal life, he said “I confront the idea by taking care of my health, both mental and physical. What terrifies me the most is the thought of becoming an invalid. The thought of death doesn’t scare me at all but having to depend on others to perform the basic tasks is a very frightening thought.”
When he was asked that how does he process death, especially those of his colleagues, he said that it is not healthy to obsess about death. “I’ve experienced several deaths of my close ones. Also, some dear friends, particularly the unexpected ones, like Om Puri, Farooq Shaikh.” He added. About Irrfan Khan, he said that his death was a new thing because Irrfan knew for about two years that it was going to happen.
Finally concluding the interview, Naseeruddin Shah said that he desires to have fun till he is alive and does not intend to do many such grim plays!