As someone who has a thriving career in theatre besides his movie outings, Naseeruddin Shah feels it is imperative for actors to have interests beyond films otherwise they tend to become too insular.
Shah, 66, says it is a shame that some of the biggest Bollywood stars are intellectually challenged and they are incapable of discussing things beyond themselves.
"I feel that film actors should have some other interest apart from movies, whether it is theatre or horse riding, mountain climbing anything. Otherwise you tend to become too insular. You end up like one of these creatures who are stars in our industry, with whom you cannot have two seconds of conversation unless it is about them," Shah told PTI.
"You talk about them all night they will listen, but if you talk about anything that taxes their mind, they will switch off. I think it is a shame that some of our biggest stars are so intellectually challenged."
In his career spanning more than four decades, Shah's most notable films include "Nishant", "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro", "Masoom", "Monsoon Wedding", "Mirza Ghalib", "Sarfarosh", "A Wednesday", among others.
Even after spending such a long time in the film industry, the actor says he does not have many friends as he prefers to befriend people like Danny Denzongpa, Tinu Anand and Jackie Shroff, who like him, have other interests apart from movies.
"The most interesting actors that I have met are those, who have other interests. A guy like Danny, who goes off to Sikkim whenever he feels like. He is into woodwork and carpentry. When I meet him, we talk about carpentry and mountains, never about movies," he says.
"He is one of the few people in the industry I can claim to be a friend of mine. Tinu Anand and Jackie Shroff are others. I can't think of any other actor whose house I have ever been to or who has been to my house. These are all people who have interests apart from movies."
Both of Shah's sons with his wife Ratna Pathak, Imaad and Vivaan, are trying to get a footing in Bollywood.
Imaad has starred in films like "Yun Hota To Kya Hota", "Dil Dosti Etc", "Little Zizou" and Mira Nair's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", while Vivaan has been a part of Vishal Bhardwaj's "7 Khoon Maaf", "Happy New Year", directed by Farah Khan, and Anurag Kashyap's "Bombay Velvet".
Shah says he prays that his sons find something meaningful to do with their lives besides becoming successful Bollywood stars.
"I wish they succeed in Bollywood. But I hope their dreams don't end there. I hope they find something more meaningful to do with their life besides becoming successful Bollywood actors. Successful Bollywood actors are the most boring people on the earth," he says.