Releasing Sep 4, "Samaantar" is a tale about two parallel
lives crossing each other in the twilight of life. The heart-wrenching
drama has been directed, scripted and co-produced by his wife
Surprisingly, the winner of three Filmfare and
six state awards for Best Actor said he had "butterflies
in his stomach right till the last day" of the film's shoot.
"I had lots of apprehensions for my acting...acting
is not like swimming or cycling as is said and done...that's not
true actually. A craft, if not practised enough, gets rusty,"
"But then there were two aspects to it.
With Sandhya being my co-director, my performance was never a
tension for me and then having such brilliant co-actors, including
Sharmila, and a wonderful team around me, I could easily get away
with not really struggling. It was a sheer pleasure (to act again),"
Distributed by Big Pictures, "Samaantar"
("Parallel Folds") competed at the recent Bollywood
& Beyond Film Festival at Stuttgart, Germany. Amol has co-directed
"After a long time, something excited me
and inspired me to act. I took it as a challenge, hoping that
I am the best one to take up every nuance of the character and
the complete range of emotions in an understated manner. I thought
I could do it without underlining anything or being melodramatic,"
"Even at the peak of my popularity in Hindi
films, I have gone out of my way to act in regional cinema. I
went and acted in Bengali, Kannada and did a film in Malayalam
because I am a huge fan of Baloo Mahendra. So if something like
that happens, yes, I will act again," he added.
A leading persona of avant-garde theatre in India,
Amol wowed the audiences for over a decade from 1970 with his
boy-next-door image in movies like "Rajnigandha" (1974),
"Chhoti Si Baat" (1975), "Chitchor" (1976),
"Golmaal" (1979) and "Baton Baton Mein" (1979)
that carved a niche despite the larger-than-life heroes of that
Amol quit acting after his 1986 film "Baat
Ban Jaye" to concentrate on filmmaking and theatre. He, however,
did a cameo in the Amitabh Bachchan starrer "Aks" (2001).
Probed more about his absence from the big screen,
he said: "Nothing really excited me, nothing was so challenging
that came my way and fortunately there was no compulsion that
I have to act.
"There is still no compulsion and this role
(in 'Samaantar') does not mean that once again I'll open shop
and start acting, certainly not until something excites me,"
asserted Amol who last made the Marathi "Dum Kata" (2008).
Amol has teamed up with his favourite actress,
Sharmila Tagore, in the film. The actors are coming together almost
after 30 years -- they shared screen space together in the Bengali
film "Mother" that was released in late 1970s.
The actor, who is featuring in his own film almost
30 years after his directorial venture "Ankahee" (1984),
was lured into "Samaantar" by the central character
"Keshav is at the pinnacle of his success
and professionally a very successful industrialist. His days are
very hectic with board meetings and all, flying in and out, but
at the end of the day he is a very lonely man and this melancholy
amongst the din and hustle bustle is what fascinated me."