Learning Period

For Upendra, 1988 onwards was also a period of learning. From his various experiences and interactions with directors, fellow artists, colleagues, subordinates, mentors, he imbibed, wittingly and unwittingly, hundreds of tips that enabled him to improve his performances and helped him “grow into a sensible human being and a sensible artist.”

Also, during this period, he got the opportunity to work with renowned actors, directors, scriptwriters who influenced him deeply. From them he learnt the nuances and subtleties of his craft. People like Sanjay Pawar, who was 12-years his senior and who became a friend, philosopher, guide. Famous actor Nilu Phule, with whom he had long discussions about the art of acting. Directors like Jabbar Patel, Amol Palekar, Satish Alekar, Waman Kendre and others.

He believes that “working with such people you’re being constantly influenced, you’re being constantly formed. You learn so many things: how should you approach your work, how should your commitment be, the things needed to give a top performance. It was like a crash course in acting.”

But all his experience till then had been confined to experimental theatre and parallel cinema. So, although he had decided to continue working in the field, he still had not thought of acting as a career.