We have never had anything on Nana Patekar, so we thought why not start with this great and insightful interview from Times of India. Nana is not just a great actor, but also a great person, who has been spending his own money to help suffering farmers in India. Before there was Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, there was Nana Patekar, who came from a small village in Alibaug. His movie ‘Welcome Back’ is up for release and he’s reprising his role like in the first movie.
Nana Patekar on the time he couldn’t afford food
I used to go land up at some friend’s place at lunch time or dinner time and say, ‘Hi. Hello. How are you?’ hoping that he may ask me and insist that I have a roti. So for me there can be no fragrance better than that of a chapati.
Nana Patekar on how he got into acting because of Smita Patil
I came into films because of Smita Patil, who was already doing films and knew me from Pune. I had been reluctant but she insisted. She took me to Ravi Chopra for a role in Aaj Ki Awazand.
Nana Patekar on why people think he’s an angry person
I think it’s because of the humiliation I faced then. The way people treated me, the moment I remember that I get tears in my eyes. From 13 till today, I am working past 51 years. Actually I was helpless and inferior and that eventually came out as anger
Nana Patekar on how he doesn’t like hitting people
I don’t like to raise my hand and have hit my 30-year-old son Malhar only once. I feel like hitting people but don’t. Actually, I get tears in my eyes if I meet people who make me angry.
Nana Patekar on why he celebrates Ganapati even though he doesn’t believe in God
Because my father used to do that and after he is dead, I just continued as my mom insisted. It’s a time when during those 10 days, everyone comes and meets you.
Nana Patekar on his mother
I become handicapped thinking about her. I understand that she is 94 and can go anytime, so every time I get a call from home, I am scared. She can’t see and she is breathing because of me. If she knows I am going out, she will hold my hand and start crying. She is like my child now.
Nana Patekar on his wife, Neelkanti
She is a brahmin and brahmins are brainy people. She is a very nice human being, really honest and content with whatever she has. She was working as an officer in a bank. And while I would make ‘750 per month (as I got ’50 per show), she earned ‘2,500 monthly salary.
Nana Patekar on his wife supporting him
Whatever I am today, I am because of her as she had said, ‘Do whatever work you want to do. I know that if not today, you will make the money tomorrow.’
Nana Patekar on loosing his father and his first son
I got married at 27 and had my first son. My father died when I was 28 and within two-and-a-half years of that, I lost my first son. From his birth, he had a cut lip and had a lot of problems.
Nana Patekar on not caring anymore
I am not worried. Now I don’t feel anything. Whether my film runs or does not, whether I am honoured or not, it doesn’t make any difference. Somewhere I am little obsessed with death now.
Nana Patekar on how he stopped smoking
I used to smoke 60 cigarettes per day till I was 56. But then I just threw it and left it.
Nana Patekar on his simple needs in life
I have not increased my needs at all. My needs are the same. If you come to my house, you will be shocked. My house is 750 sq ft., we had bought it for ‘1.1 lakhs, but even today I stay there only.
Nana Patekar on what makes him fearless
From the beginning I don’t have that fear of death. I am not afraid of getting into anything in front of me and I will go and catch the person who is wrong, whether he is holding a gun or whatever else. I don’t worry about the consequences.
Nana Patekar on how he loves cooking
Cooking is my passion. I am a better cook than actor. Cooking is like doing yoga. There is a lot of satisfaction in cooking food for others.
Nana Patekar on how he learnt cooking from his mother
In the olden days, when women got their period, they had to sit in a corner of the house and could not touch anything or even cook. When we were small, my mother would sit in the corner and instruct us what to do. That’s how I learnt. My cooking style is exactly like my mother’s.