Mahesh Manjrekar has devoted himself entirely to his work as a filmmaker, which appears to have put his acting career on hold. His most recent film, 'Antim: The Final Truth', starring Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma, has reintroduced him as a Hindi film director. He's now working on a number of projects, including 'White' and biopics of Nathuram Godse and Veer Savarkar.
Manjrekar speaks of where this leaves his acting career, given that he was also featured in a prominent part in 'Antim.' “I used to be an actor for several years. I had quit it but out of nowhere, Sanjay Gupta dragged me back into it with 'Kaante' and a few of his subsequent films. I think anyone could have played the part I played in 'Kaante'. Of course, I had fun working on it and I still enjoy working with him (their last collaboration was Mumbai Saga this year). Now, there comes a time in life where you seek roles that mean something, add weight to a film or they’re tailored for you. I feel jealous of actors like Pankaj Tripathi. Roles are written for him. Unless something like that comes to me, I don’t want to get into acting. I remember the role I played in 'Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota'. It was awesome, but the film didn’t do much at cinemas. Yet, after playing such parts, I don’t know why I need to go on and on. Till I find something substantial and special, meant for me, I don’t want to do it. I did it for many years to keep my kitchen running.” said the filmmaker turned actor.
Manjrekar is directing films at a special point in his life: two of his three children have gone on to become actors. When asked about them and when he plans to work with them, he says, "Ashwami has become a chef and I can bet my last dollar that she would have become an excellent filmmaker if she had wanted to. She gets cinema inside out. She assisted me till I made Viruddh. Then, she pulled out saying she was not interested and she donned the chef’s hat. She’s also a traveller with a mind of her own. She would have been a brilliant director. Saie (Manjrekar) was an absolute surprise. I didn’t know how and when she decided to become an actress. Yes, she did a few bit roles in my films, like she played a role in Kaksparsh. But I don’t know when and how she was cast in Dabangg 3 and now she has another good film coming up, called Major. I have adopted a girl from Satara. Her name is Gauri Ingavale and she is the best actress I have seen in the world. She’s brilliant. People will agree when they see her in Panghrun next summer. I have left it to my children, they have a mind of their own. I will work with Saie the day she says she wants to make a film with me. I want her to find her own way. Likewise for my son, Satya. I don’t want to fan the nepotism talk. I want Satya to discover his real strengths. I do have a film in mind - a road movie that ends in Mansarovar or Ladakh and starts in the South - that can play on his innocence and his personality. But I want him to discover himself fully and understand what works best for him.”