Bollywood veteran actors and brothers-in-law Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor are coming on the screen together for the first time. The director Nitin Chandra roped in the two stars to work for his upcoming film Company Ustad.
Actresses-sisters Ratna and Supriya Pathak are married to Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor respectively, but neither the sisters nor the brothers-in-law have ever shared screen space together.
However, Naseeruddin and Pankaj featured in Vishal Bharadwaj’s 2004 film Maqbool, but they had no scenes together.
The actors, who share a cordial though distant rapport in real life, are said to be extremely wary of being cast together.
“I’d love to work with Pankaj. He is a fine actor. But the script has to justify our presence,” said Naseeruddin Shah.
Many filmmakers tried to rope in both the stars together but failed.
Apparently Nitin Chandra, who made the critically-acclaimed Bhojpuri film Deswa, relentlessly pursued the two stars with a hard-bound script and with roles specially earmarked for both of them.
Nitin Chandra said in a statement; “It was really Naseer saab and Pankaj saab and no one else for these parts. The characters they were offered are rare in Indian cinema. The film is a biopic and those two roles are rigorously researched and designed. I have been working on the characters for four years. The script is powerful enough to invite the presence of actors like Naseer, Pankaj and Manoj Bajpayee.”
“They have challenging roles to play. I’d like to think they saw honesty in my intentions and were quite taken up by the narrative,” he told reporters.