Naseeruddin Shah expressed his condolences for Om Puri and said that he was a brilliant and talented actor. The duo were close friends and worked in several movies including Jaane Bhi Do Yaron and Mirch Masala.
Naseeruddin Shah shared on Twitter, “We have lost very brilliant and talented actor it’s very big loss of our country and film industry rest and peace.”
In an interview, Naseeruddin Shah talked about Om Puri and said, “His success in the West and when he spoke to me about working with Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg, filled me only with happiness. Om was the salt of the earth. There’s no other way to describe him. He remained real and rooted all his life. Success or failure didn’t change him. There was not a pretentious or pompous bone in his body”.
Naseeruddin further said that Om Puri never hesitated in doing small roles.”I think back on my rapport with him, I cannot recall one unlikable incident. We were very close and most relaxed with one another. And we happily played walk-on parts or supporting parts in one another’s films. Om would often do cameos for my films, like that one scene in Sai Paranjpye’s Sparsh. I’d ask him if he didn’t feel embarrassed to be cast in such small roles. He would give gaalis and say, ‘Arrey yaar. I’m not doing it for you. I am doing it because I believe in the film.’ His faith in meaningful cinema was unshakable.”
Further, Naseeruddin added that, “Om’s personal problems near the end of his life left his mental and physical health in shambles. Om had a troubled marriage with his second wife, Nandita Puri. While Om alleged that Nandita tarnished his image by writing intimate details about him in the book Unlikely Hero: Om Puri, Nandita filed a case of domestic violence against her husband, which she later withdrew. Om and Nandita began living separately as well and according to reports, Nandita kept badgering Om to get a share of his property”.
“I know for a fact that Om was really suffering during the last few years. And there was no way out of it. Though his death was sudden, I can’t say it was totally unexpected. In a way, death has relieved him of all the stress, and that includes the bad films he took on, I presume for financial reasons. Om took all the criticism on his chin,” said Naseeruddin Shah.