‘ACT­ING SCHOOLS ARE ALL SHAMS’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Vet­eran ac­tor Naseerud­din Shah (right) has been a part of films and theatre for al­most four decades. Over the years, he has seen act­ing schools flour­ish­ing in the coun­try. How­ever, he is ve­he­mently against the cur­rent state of act­ing train­ing in India.

“All the act­ing schools in the coun­try are shams, they are all frauds and I have no hes­i­ta­tion in say­ing this. All these peo­ple run­ning act­ing schools are ab­so­lute and ut­ter frauds, they are fool­ing the kids who come to them. They teach them nothing, ”says Shah, who started his ca­reer in 1975 with the film Nis­hant and even­tu­ally acted in crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial suc­cess­ful films such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Ma­soom, Sar­farosh and A Wed­nes­day. The 66-year-old ac­tor also adds, “There is no act­ing teacher in this coun­try and it is a re­ally un­for­tu­nate thing, con­sid­er­ing how old the film in­dus­try is.”

The ac­tor was a stu­dent of Na­tional School of Drama be­fore he en­tered film in­dus­try, but he does not feel it is com­pul­sory for every­one to at­tend an act­ing school. “I be­lieve that any­one who is pas­sion­ate about act­ing can learn on his own. Dilip Kumar never went to an act­ing school, Amitabh Bachchan never went to an act­ing school, Ka­mal Haasan never did yet all of them are such fine ac­tors. An ac­tor trains him­self and that is what I be­lieve. Be­ing in an in­sti­tu­tion is con­ducive to learn­ing,” he says.

Then why did Shah at­tend an act­ing school? “I learnt at Na­tional School of Drama be­cause I had the urge to learn. I was exposed to many things, which I hadn’t been exposed to be­fore, so my hori­zons widened but you can do it on your own as well. I don’t think it’s es­sen­tial for an ac­tor to go to a train­ing school to train your­self,” he says.

Naseerud­din Shah’s last re­lease was Wait­ing, op­po­site ac­tor Kalki Koechlin, which was re­ceived pos­i­tively by the au­di­ence.

PHOTO: SATISH BATE/ HT

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