Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah on Monday said he doesn't consider it a compliment when fellow actors confess about being "nervous" in front of him.
Shah, who has straddled the worlds of cinema, TV and theatre with equal prowess for close to 45 years, said he tries to make the new talent feel at ease whenever he collaborates with them. "It doesn't please me when young actors say they are nervous when they are working with me, because I don't think that's a compliment.
"If my presence disturbs a co-worker, that's not a compliment or an accomplishment on my part. I try to help them overcome their nervousness, I don't always succeed," he said.
The actor, best known for his work in films including Nishant, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Ijaazat, A Wednesday, and shows like Mirza Ghalib, Bharat Ek Khoj, said he learnt this lesson from his seniors in the industry who never made him feel overwhelmed with their presence.
"I don't remember being nervous in the presence of an actor who I liked very much, including Dilip Kumar, Sean Connery, Ashok Kumar... So if an actor gets nervous in my presence, it's not a good thing," he added.
Shah, who turned 70 on Monday, was interacting with media at the virtual press conference of his upcoming Amazon Prime Video series Bandish Bandits. The ten-part show follows the story of two lovers, Radhe and Tamanna, played by Ritwik Bhowmik and Shreya Chaudhry, from different musical backgrounds. On the series, created by Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari, Shah will be seen playing the role of Pandit Radhemohan Rathod, a celebrated classical musician who inspires his grandson Radhe to follow his legacy. The three-time National Award winner said he was drawn to Rathod's part as the character had shades of grey. "What interested me was that the character wasn't purely white. Parts with grey shades interest me more.
"If this man would have been a good grandfather who takes care of everyone and sacrifices his life for the hero, then maybe I wouldn't have done it," he added.
Directed by Tiwari, the show also stars Atul Kulkarni, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Sheeba Chaddha and Rajesh Tailang. The show features an original soundtrack, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who make their digital debut with the series.
Bandish Bandits will start streaming from August 4.