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NAYAK: With mahanayak Uttam Kumar by Juhi Saklani

“If you are showing a matinee idol, then you have to cast a star. Nobody else would do; people wouldn’t accept the fact”.

“I always believed Uttam had it in him to give good performances”.

“Mrinal (Sen) said, "Now he has sunk to the level of using a matinee idol”!

“Uttam could produce acceptable acting even from bad material, just by playing himself. Whereas with Soumitra, who’s much more intelligent, given bad material he turns out a bad performance because his distaste for the material shows”.

First published by Musui Art Foundation Juhi Saklani is a Delhi-based writer, photographer and cinema lover. [Image: Ray directs Uttam Kumar in Nayak (1966); Courtesy Musui Art Foundation.]

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