attended a session titled Director’s Actor during IFFI. Accompanied by director Anees Bazmee for the session hosted by Tisca Chopra.
In the middle of the talk, Tisca Chopra shared an anecdote about Anil from the sets of the TV series 24. She recollected, “We were shooting a hospital sequence at 2 am. All of us got tired and dozing off, but Anil sir was pacing up and down the corridor like a charged-up panther, trying to get everybody energized. A spot boy got me some biscuits and I offered one to him. He took it, stared at it for a long time, and then bellowed, ‘I don’t need it! I won’t have it!’ I astonished by how disciplined he still is, and the strict check he keeps on his calorie intake.”
Anil’s answer to this was, “It wasn’t about the calories. Khaana bohot zaroori hai sahi waqt par. I just feel that as an actor, I am conditioned to eat during breaks. If you eat during scenes, you disturb the process of building the emotion required for the scene. Food makes you lethargic. Aur aagar ek biscuit kha leta, to ek pe thodi rukta? I would have finished the entire packet. The panther must not taste blood in the middle of a scene.” he concluded with a laugh.