Character actors just enhance hero's role: Om Puri

Sep 23, 2012 IANS

Mumbai, Sep 23 (IANS) Seasoned actor Om Puri feels that character actors are not getting their due and says that the Indian films need them just to enhance the role of the main protagonist.

"It is very rare that character actors get a meaty part. They are there as a character to enhance the hero. They don't have their own individuality," he told IANS in an exclusive interview.

The veteran, known for his powerful performances in offbeat films of the 1970s and the 1980s such as "Godhuli", "Bhumika", "Aakrosh", "Mandi", "Party" and "Mirch Masala", ventured into light-hearted roles with "Chachi 420" and later tickled the funny bones of the audiences with comedies like "Hera Pheri" and "Malamaal Weekly".

But now the 61-year-old enjoys satires much more than mindless comedies.

"I don't enjoy comedy for comedy's sake. I enjoyed 'Malamaal Weekly' as it was innocent and harmless fun. Whereas films like 'Buddha Mar Gaya' are disgusting. That kind of humour is low and cheap. 'Chachi 420' was clean, even though it didn't have a message. I enjoyed 'Bollywood Calling' as well. But I prefer satire," said Om Puri, winner of National Awards for best actor for "Arohan" and "Ardh Satya".

He believes that Bollywood is in dire need of good actors and not just superstars.

"Without superstars also films do well. 'Vicky Donor' ran without any big stars or known faces," he said.

His next is Priyadarshan's "Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal", coming out Sep 28, and he said: "We had fun on the set. Nana Patekar is a wonderful entertainer. I am working with him after 30 years. When I worked with him earlier, he was not a brat and now he is a brat."

Talking about his role, he added, "Shreyas Talpade is the protagonist of the film. I am playing his father. He doesn't have comic scenes. He is an angry old man who is disgusted with his son."

With so many newcomers entering the industry, Puri feels that it is the responsibility of senior actors to mentor them.

"If someone is a good actor, you can make it out the minute he speaks two lines. Even if he is not so good, it is the responsibility of senior actors to coach him because he is in the cast. Making comments on him (a newcomer) is a negative attitude," he said.

What is on his wish list?

"I am not getting any social films. I am looking for them," he said adding that he is, however, "happy with the films I am doing right now".

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Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal

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