I did not set out to become an actor: Anant Nag

The veteran actor recounts his journey in the industry
Last Updated 05 March 2020, 05:01 IST

One of Anant Nag’s most resolute moves was in politics; it was the speedy completion of an underpass near Mekhri Circle during his time as a minister of the state.

By his admission, “This was out of sheer will. But I failed to make an impact as a politician. It’s easy to act as a politician rather than being one. This also made me miss acting. If I am good at something, this must be it.”

Anant Nag recalled this in front of a crowd largely consisting of youngsters during an interaction at the 12th edition of BIFFes.

Six films starring the multi-lingual artiste were showcased as part the ‘Retrospective’ at the festival.

They were ‘Anaahat’, ‘Anugraham’, ‘Beledingala Baale’, ‘Ganeshana Maduve’, ‘Kalyug’, ‘Minchina Ota’ and ‘Swathi Tirunal’.

He reiterated that he did not set out to become an actor. Not succeeding at many outings took him to the path of theatre, he confessed.

“The wars of ’62 (Indo-China war) and ’65 (Indo-Pak war) instilled a feeling of patriotism in me. I had ACC and NCC certificates and tried to enroll in the services,” he shares.

However, the army rejected him in lieu of being underweight, while the Air Force said that his left eye was weak. “Around that time, I was given a part in a play,” he said.

To the question why films these days don’t take up social issues, he refuted with, “There have been films like ‘Ankur’, ‘Manthan’, ‘Bara’ and ‘Accident’ and of late, ‘Kavaludaari’. But somehow people here don’t watch them as much. In my estimate, of the six crore people, only 1.25 crore watch such films.”

Why there aren’t many takers for political films? He pointed at the politicians. “People have become disillusioned,” he said.

The 71-year-old dismissed the possibility of trying theatre again, even the less strenuous parts. “I don’t want to go back. I have now adapted better to films.”

Book by chance

Anant Nag shared an anecdote about the book that has his attention now: ‘The Silk Roads’ by Peter Frankopan. “I’ve underlined words and am reading it for the third time,” he said.

“It’s funny how I chanced upon it. When I was on a set recently, I had to enact reading. I got this book as a prop. I ended up actually reading it. It grabbed my attention in no time.”

The sign-off

When asked to comment on the festival, he said his association with international film festivals were limited. He reminisced about his time in college and as a newbie thespian.

(Published 04 March 2020, 14:40 IST)

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