Nasser doesn't say no to any role: ‘It’s my profession, I have to be flexible' | Web Series - Hindustan Times

Interview: Nasser doesn't say no to any role, says he is informed about roles in South films day before shoot

Aug 10, 2023 08:18 AM IST

Nasser talks to HT about The Jengaburu Curse, climate change at large and why he doesn't say no to any role.

After being seen in a crucial role in Ponniyin Selvan I and II, veteran actor Nasser is back with a new show and stresses on how the significance of the role matters to him and what cause it is related to. He now plays a pivotal role in the web show The Jengaburu Curse, which is a suspense thriller that revolves around how exploiting nature can lead to dangerous consequences. He says the cause behind it is what made him perform even better. Also read: Nila Madhab Panda returns with The Jengaburu Curse, asks ‘dusre kyu nhi banate’ such films, shows

Nasser in a still from The Jengaburu Curse.
Nasser in a still from The Jengaburu Curse.

The Sony LIV series The Jengaburu Curse is directed by Nila Madhab Panda of I Am Kalam fame. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Nasser talks in detail about getting into his role, which is a mysterious one to reveal the least. He also spoke at length about how manmade problems have led to severe environmental damage.

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Nasser on climate change

On being asked if the show is related to a real incident, Nasser says, “Yes, a real issue which is made in an interesting way for the screen for everybody to see because its a very important issue going on earth. See there are problems happening all over the world and every country has got its own problem. But there is only one big problem which the whole world is facing and that is this climate change. The climate doesn't care how rich or how developed country you are. Let us leave God alone in this. The nature has set its own pattern…when it will rain, when the sea will have the current and which direction. It is like gears in a watch or a clock. It has to have this much forest and river, it has to sit in pattern."

Watch: Nasser on Baahubali, Ponniyin Selvan, nepotism, climate change

“Earlier, we used to produce only what we want. Now human beings know you can produce more than what you want and you can sell it. You can make it a trade. You can become rich. You can compare yourself with other person. All this greed has taken away forests, diverted rivers, built buildings which are not good for earth and has made a lot of flora and fauna to get extinct. All these things have changed the pattern of the nature. Bombay rains are now so unpredictable. Now there are floods in Rajasthan. There is a heat wave in Europe. So what is happening? Who gave this curse? It is you and me, our greed. It is not God. It is not even nature," he adds.

Nasser on The Jengaburu Curse

Nasser says he expects people to have tears in their eyes while watching The Jengaburu Curse. "Now we have to wipe away the curse. We have to give back what we robbed from Mother Nature. This web series is not preaching, it's going to give information about climate change. It has been told indirectly through a very emotional relationship between a daughter and a father. Why this young girl is searching for her father? Even if it is an issue based film, the way that the story is told is like a James Bond kind of thing. People should have tears in their eyes, it is a very intelligently made script," he says.

Nasser plays a very loving and caring tribal museum curator and later on, has surprises in his character. “We understood it is not only about how good you are doing your character. We are performing for what cause --that's what made us to perform better,” he says.

Nasser on being left cluless about roles in South films

At 65, Naseer has an experience of over 34 years with around 700 films to his credit. On being asked about his process of getting into a role, the actor replies, “It's very simple. Down South, for most of the mainstream films, they tell about the role in the last last minute, sometimes a day before the shoot. When I ask what can I do, they say, ‘no, no sir, you will do it.' You are without any clue. If they ask me to think, it becomes very scary. It's not challenging. But I have done it. I have framed my own story about the character. I mean how his way of thinking has been shaped or what has he studied? In those days, they thought that they have signed an actor, he will do."

Nasser gives it to the young directors, especially of the Hindi films and web series he has done, who he says have the final film in their memory. He claims that there is a lot of guidance and the actor need not even get prepared to go for the shoot. “They tell you what to do, what not to do. They give a space to discuss and clarify your doubts. Even if you do 3 days character, the director is ready to narrate and read for him,” he says.

"Personally, I'll sit back and design. I'll see what I do in the film. What is the purpose of this character? If there is ample time, we try to go deeper. If I play a neurosurgeon for example, I go meet a few neurosurgeons. I should feel comfortable that I'm playing a doctor, not just delivering the dialogues," he says about his method which he claims has been taught by his teachers.

Nasser on why he doesn't say no to any role

Naseer however, reveals hardly ever saying no to projects. “I can't say no for so many reasons. Now I have done about 700 films. If I had to say no, I I should have rejected at least about 200 or so. But sometimes because of the friendship you have, sometimes because of the money they pay and sometimes strong recommendation comes to you. ‘Please, for my sake, you do that film.’”

He further explains, “Moreover, it is my profession. I have to be a bit flexible, I may not be strong enough to say no. I can say no if I don't want to. But when I have decided and taken money, I will stop cribbing about it or find flaws. I don't do that. Even if I know it's going in a wrong way, I feel ‘but they expect this, they have paid, I give the best.’”

"In the beginning of our career, when out of a training institute, you apply theory and criticize all the directors and everything. You say no but you need next day meal. There is a pleasure in saying no but later on, the reality teaches that you cannot change this system. If you don't like the system, please get out. Don't try to change the system," the Baahubali actor signs off.

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