Anurag Kashyap, for a change, is in front of the camera and critics have given his negative role in Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Akira a thumbs-up, but the director says he is not keen to act on a regular basis.
The 43-year-old filmmaker, who has acted in the past as well, enjoyed playing the villainous cop in A R Murugadoss’ film. He, however, does not see himself as an actor.
“I will act only if I get enough money, otherwise I don’t have any intention to act. I will do acting only if the role is good or someone gives me obscene amount of money that solves my other problems,” Anurag told PTI.
“I don’t want to make a career as an actor. I don’t mind acting, but my focus is on my films. To take up more offers, I should have time and when I have time, the story and the role have to be good,” he expressed.
The “Bombay Velvet” helmer previously acted in films like “Black Friday”, “No Smoking”, “Dev.D”, “Gulaal” and “Shagird” among others.
On the response to this role, Anurag said, “I have never got so many calls and messages, that too non-stop. Trade (analysts/critics) people are saying stop him from making films, let him do acting only.”
The “Gangs of Wasseypur” director has done a lot of theatre, but he thinks acting in films is completely different as it requires longer commitment. “I don’t get nervous, but it’s a longer commitment. I am scared of making longer commitments. It is not that the work (acting) will get over in 15 days, but then there is dubbing and promotions that you have to do, so, you have to relive your character again,” he said.
After acting, Anurag realised actors are disciplined in terms of working hard for the look and maintaining it throughout the film. He feels he doesn’t have that discipline.
“Theatre is an actor’s medium. You just go on stage and it’s done in one take, while for films you work for days or months. Who will maintain continuity for four months? I don’t think I have the discipline of an actor,” he said.
“I can do something for 10 or 15 days in a row. To maintain that look like the haircut, moustache and etc, I can’t do it. When I am working as a director, I eat at odd times, I drink, so, when I will get up my face will be tired and dull,” he said.
Though he finds acting easy, Anurag hates the waiting time before a shot. “Acting is not difficult for me, it comes easily to me. I
have done serious acting in films before. What is difficult is what to do when your shot is over and you are waiting for next shot.
“As a director, I am involved round-the-clock in a film. As an actor, you get two hours of waiting time between two shots. I can’t remove my make-up and costumes. I can’t read or do anything between shots as my mind will get diverted from the scene I was doing. So it’s difficult,” he said.
Anurag said like everyone, he initially wanted to become an actor, but he decided he would go for direction. “Doing different role, like say in ‘Akira’, would have given me a kick if it happened in 1993 because I was trying to be an actor. I have acted in quite a few films as a lead and people don’t know about it.
“In the beginning, I did three-four films as lead. Those films were of so high quality that when I saw it, I decided to call it quits as an actor!!” he quipped. Owing to the films he has done as an actor, Anurag understands the medium of acting very well.
“I have always enjoyed being on stage and I understand the medium. If you are good at anything and you can enjoy then it’s great. I could never translate that on camera,” he said.
“But because I am a director I have become comfortable with camera. What you see now in ‘Akira’, I, as an actor, couldn’t have been able to do it 15 years ago,” he opined. Anurag did not let his director’s side come in the way while he was acting.
“I would go on sets of the film as an actor. I would want my director to trust and believe me and go with me, so I did just that. A film is made with the conviction of the director,” he added.