Veteran actor Om Puri says filmmakers here do not write roles for older actors which leaves them with no choice but to retire.
“There are not many roles written for older actors and it gets difficult to get exciting roles today unlike the west. In western countries, there are roles written for older actors. Films are made on them, including love stories. But that is not the case here,” Puri told PTI in an interview.
“If I don’t get work, then I will retire only. I don’t go and knock doors for work, if I get work I will do it. I will do theatre otherwise,” he added.
Puri, 63, will be seen next in ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’, which is an upcoming American comedy-drama film but back home he has no films in his kitty.
“I don’t have work… Tell someone to give me work. I am serious, I am not having any work to do right now. Priyadarshan was there (who used to take him in his films), but he is also not doing anything right now,” he said.
“In this age there are not many roles being written for us. And I don’t call up people and ask for work,” he said.
Amitabh Bachchan still gets work at the age of 71, and Puri feels the megastar’s involvement with commercial films has become a boon for him.
“They (filmmakers) take stars. They have been stars, I am not a star… Not commercially at least. I have been a wonderful actor, but not a commercial star. For Mr Bachchan films are being made like ‘Sarkar’ and others. I have never got Rs one crore for a film, I get Rs 40-50 lakh only, or Rs 15-25 lakh,” he said.
Puri is not disillusioned with the way Bollywood treats senior actors as every artiste has his or her time.
“I don’t expect anything from anybody. When you grow old…your days are gone, it is part of life. They (Hollywood filmmakers) make films with older stars where they play main parts, but that is not the tradition with us. Here films are made for money, they (in Hollywood) make films with passion, may be not all films.
However, he feels there are a few filmmakers in India who are passionate about their movies.
“We have filmmakers who make films with some kind of responsibility and take cinema seriously like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Prakash Jha. But now these people also take stars…without stars they cannot work. Then, they even add item songs in a film, like Prakash Jha’s ‘Chakravyuh’ was a good film but he added a (item) song,” he added.