Om Puri says no to his favourite director Shyam Benegal

June 25th, 2008 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  

By Devapriyo Bhattacharjee
Mumbai, June 25 (IANS) Om Puri turned down Shyam Benegal’s offer. The versatile actor says the latter had approached him for a film but he could not accept it because of date problems. “Shyamji called me up and asked me to play the lead in a comical satire. He wanted me to shoot for his film in September. But I could not accept the offer, as my dates are blocked till May next year,” said the actor.

Benegal is known for making artistically superior films and also for tapping new talents. In 70s and 80s he worked with many new talents and Om puri was one of them. The prolific director made films like “Mandi”, “Aarohan and “Antarnaad” with Om Puri.

So, will Benegal wait for him?

“He never waits for anyone. He has his own principles. He is the person who has let us grow and has the capability to make anyone grow. He has the capability to take a new actor for his film. Even I was new when we worked together.”

While Govind Nihalani’s “Ardhya Satya” is Om Puri’s best film till date, Benegal is his favourite director.

He said: “‘Ardhya Satya’ will always be the best film of my whole career and Shyamji is my favourite director and there is no doubt about it.”

The two time National Award winning actor started his career with art house movies but later forayed in mainstream cinema and featured in successful commercial fares like “Hera Pheri”, “Chup Chup Ke”.

The fifty plus actor says he enjoys working in all kinds of cinema.

“Art films are for satisfaction and commercial is for making money. I am comfortable in both of them. I want to do all types of roles be it comedy, serious or anything because I want to be known as a versatile actor.”

Om Puri has a potpourri of films to be released. His next release will be Mani Shankar’s “Mukhbiir”. He will also be seen in films like “Singh Is Kinng”, “Dilli 6″, “Kushti”, “Maharathi”, and “Shoot On Sight”, among others.

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