When he entered the world of movie, Anant Nag was lanky and good-looking. Whether he performed the imply, egocentric son of a landlord in Shyam Benegal’s Ankur, the conniving brother in Kalyug, or the romantic pilot in Puttanna Kanagal’s Bayalu Daari, he portrayed each function with élan and depth. He might evoke sympathy as a lovelorn teen in addition to hatred for his unfavorable roles. He was able to tickling our humorous bone with his comedy turns in movies such because the Ganeshana Maduve sequence.
Though he was a newcomer, the viewers noticed him sharing the display screen house with legendary actors of his time just like the late actor Kalpana and Julie Lakshmi. If his industrial movies ran houseful throughout Karnataka, he additionally labored in parallel cinema in Kannada (Minchina Ota, Accident, Nodi Swamy Naavu Iradu Heega) and Hindi (Nishant).
He was a part of the enduring tv sequence, Malgudi Days, directed by his late brother Shankar. The two brothers had been the principle propagators of Kannada theatre in Bengaluru in the ‘70s and ‘80s. They even based the newbie theatre group — Sanket. Despite his success in cinema, Anant at all times made time for theatre.
From his debut in PV Nanjaraja Urs’ Kannada movie Sankalpa to KGF Chapter 1, Anant has been there and completed that. He has labored with legends and budding administrators.
This 12 months, he celebrates 50 years in the movie trade. Even right this moment, he’s a busy man. The actor is being felicitated by followers and organisations for the outstanding milestone.
Amidst this hectic schedule, Anant, speaks to The Hindu over a name about cinema and what it means to him beginning on the very starting.
One method ticket
“I grew up in two ashrams — one in Uttara Karnataka after which in Dakshina Karnataka. I led a sheltered life and was adept on the life in the ashrams. Academically, I used to be in the highest 5 ranks at all times.” Things modified drastically for Anant when the household moved to Mumbai. “School was in English medium. I couldn’t cope and felt misplaced. Suddenly, I used to be on the backside of the category. I selected arts, I used to be unsuccessful, tried literature, failed there too.” Anant tried to hitch the Army, however was rejected as he was underweight. “I misplaced curiosity in lecturers, and was considering of going again to the ashram.”
That was when somebody urged performing. “Those days, failures had been instructed by lecturers and household to turn out to be actors. It was thought of a career for individuals who might do nothing else. I obtained a break in theatre and felt future had ushered me on stage.”
Though terrified initially, Anant says, he dived into the world of rehearsals and characters. “I began discovering myself. I regained my misplaced confidence. Theatre helped me discover myself and in 5 years I had acted in 50 performs.” Anant began his stage journey with Konkani theatre. “I loved performing as a result of although my private life was depressing, I might be anybody on stage. Gradually, movie affords began pouring in.”
Cinema, Anant says, is like happening a highway with a one-way ticket. “Once you get into this discipline, cinema consumes you. There isn’t any method you may return. It is like using a tiger on a regular basis. Try getting off its again, and you’ll be attacked.”
About him sustaining in the trade for 50 years, the actor says, “It was not my efforts alone, however the love the viewers gave me. They made my movies a hit. Equal credit score goes to the administrators, producers, and most significantly, the writers. They wrote particular roles for me and I’m grateful to every one in all them.”
After some time, Anant began losing interest with his roles. “By the time I used to be 40, I used to be questioning myself — what was I doing? Why was I repeating the success method again and again? Once once more, I used to be in a dilemma, I didn’t need to repeat myself on display screen. Art cinema, which supplied me scope for experimentation, had restricted attain these days. Even the remuneration was nominal. Ultimately, cinema is supposed for leisure. People come to observe your movie, to not get patronised, however to get entertained.”
“Success and failure is just not in anybody’s hand. A movie you assume nothing about, could turn out to be a blockbuster and one that you just pinned all of your hopes on, could go unnoticed. Also, if you find yourself an actor, generally you’re left with no selection, however to do the function you’re supplied as that’s what folks want to see you as. It can be a query of cash for the producer. So, in the top the numbers do depend.”
That is when Anant began exploring comedy. His Ganeshana Maduve sequence with Vinaya Prasad remains to be remembered for the laughs they supply. “I additionally did loads of darkish comedy in movies corresponding to Udbhava, Yaarigu Helbedi the place I explored unfavorable characters with shades of humour.”
Anant then took a break to enterprise into politics. After a brief stint, he determined to return to movies. “I used to be now in my 50s. As somebody who ragged my seniors who nonetheless performed the lead with considerably youthful heroines, I used to be afraid of being bullied by my juniors. I made a decision I might not do lead roles and began to discover sturdy character roles. This perspective comes solely from theatre, the place you give your finest even for a two-minute function on stage. Sometimes supporting roles are written higher than leads.”
Despite this swap, the movies that he was part of went on to turn out to be main hits together with Mungaru Male, Godi Banna Sadharana Maikattu, Kavaludaari and KGF Chapter 1. Because he stays a sought-after actor in his 70s, he’s typically in comparison with Amitabh Bachchan. This comparability, the actor says, is unfair on Amitabh Bachchan. “He is a legend and has completed extra work than me. He places in the identical ardour for a three-hour movie or a 15-second commercial, which I’m incapable of. He is a terrific model and is from the Hindi movie trade, which has a bigger attain. However, evaluating me to him is the folks’s verdict, and I humbly settle for this honour.”