Mumbai, Aug 31 (IANS) Versatile actor Om Puri, who plays Sammir Dattani's mentor and guide in Mani Shankar's latest espionage thriller 'Mukhbiir', can't stop raving about the youngster, his acting skills and his potential.
'Most of my scenes in 'Mukhbiir' were with Sammir. When we started working together I didn't even know who he was. He came across as very non-filmy. Later I came to know he was from a business family with no Bollywood connections,' Puri told IANS.
The actor said that 'Mukhbiir' is truly a wonderful film that brings out Sammir's talent.
'I'm very surprised by Sammir's performance. I think he has the potential to become a big star. I told him if he was part of a film family like Ranbir Kapoor he'd have been launched in style and become a star overnight. Though Ranbir's debut flopped, he's being written about everywhere. And Abhishek (Bachchan) had 17 flops and he still got chance after chance,' he said.
Being an outsider himself, Puri totally empathises with Sammir.
'I at least got the support of offbeat filmmakers like Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. For a mainstream commercial actor today the competition is with the star sons who are launched in big lavish films. Who will take the same risk with an actor who isn't connected to the industry?
'Because Sammir is from outside the film industry he will have to work twice as hard to prove himself. (But) 'Mukhbiir' would do it for Sammir. It's a very unusual spy thriller. And Sammir's sensitive face leaves a lasting impact,' said Puri, who has excelled in serious cinema as well as out-and-out comedies.
He has now cut down on assignments, but says 'Mukhbiir' is the kind of cinema he would like to do.
'It successfully bridges the gap between offbeat and mainstream cinema. As the chairperson of the NFDC (National Film Development Council), this is the kind of cinema I'd like the NFDC to make.'