Over the years, Usha Nadkarni, the most popular character artiste from Marathi and Hindi film industry has played the mother of many popular artistes. But, when asked, as to who was her best beta or beti; she refuses to comment. “I don’t believe in such relations. One should be sincere while performing that act.” She says. But, when you ask her as to whose mother she would love to play, she sportingly admits one and only Big ‘B’- Amitabh Bachchan’s name.
Yes, it will be a great honour for an actress of her caliber to play the Mom of Big B. Even actress Vidya Balan had the privilege of doing so in the film ‘Paa’. In the past even an actress like Rohini Hattangadi with tremendous potential, played his mother in the film ‘Agnipath’. So, Usha has all the hopes in days to come. A versatile actress, she has been in the field of acting for almost 38 years now. She began her career with marathi stage and entered at the competitive level with INT’s play ‘Guru’. Thereafter, she performed with Nana Patelar in famous play ‘Purush’ and later played character roles in marathi and Hindi films. Some of her popular films were ‘Vaastav’, ‘Hathyar’, ‘Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar’, ‘Tu Chor Main Sipahee’, ‘Yashwant’, ‘Gundaraj’, ‘Lakshmanrekha’ and N. Chandra’s ‘Narsimha’, where she played an important role of Narsimha’s mother.
Usha Nadkarni actually shot into fame after she played two important roles in Hindi TV serials; namely Shantabai in ‘Kuch Iss Tarah’ and as Savita Damodar Deshmukh in ongoing ‘Pavitra Rishta’. It was a pleasure talking to this straight-thinking woman, who spoke very frankly about what she feels about this entertainment industry. Incidentally, she is playing the title role in forthcoming marathi film ‘What an Idea Mai!’, as the movie revolves around her. But, when you ask her as to whether this movie would change her image, she tries to divert your attention to her another film ‘Deool’ where she also plays an equally important role. ‘Deool’ is is also my forthcoming film and it’s a masterpiece and a timely film,” she adds .
Talking about her slow but steady progress into this acting field, she recalls her younger days, when she performed on stage. “After I performed in plays like ‘Guru’ for INT and ‘Purush’ in the company of Nana Patekar, I gained a lot of confidence as an actress. But, I didn’t believe in begging for the roles. I have never gone to any producer and asked for a favor. Whatever was there for me, always came to me. Even while on the sets, I paid attention on my work, rather than my make up and costumes. If I was required to play a middle class woman from a chawl, I paid less attention on on my make and tried to present myself in natural form. After all, acting makes all the difference,” she adds.
Over the years Usha has played safe game by not leaving her job for full time acting. “I worked with BMC for few years and then with Dena Bank for over 20 years, till I took voluntary retirement few years ago,” she says. “Those days it was a risk leaving your job and even after taking Voluntary retirement, I had gone back to my employers to take my option back; but they didn’t allow it. Now, I am happy that I am getting good offers and people are appreciating my performance,” she concludes.