Sudhir Mishra, who collaborated with Om Puri on the classic film Dharavi (1991), has said the actor was a generous man with a strong personality. He also shared that the late actor once got irritated with him during the filming and told him that he won’t be working with him ever again. The film incidentally marked their last work together. Also Read| Sudhir Mishra: We all want a full house, success for our films
Sudhir Mishra first worked with Om Puri when he served as a writer and an assistant director on the 1983 classic film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. He got Om Puri to work for him when he directed his third film, Dharavi, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
In an interview with Unfiltered By Samdish, Sudhir recalled that Om Puri was ‘graceful, technically perfect,’ and would follow every direction given to him with utmost sincerity. However, there were a few things that set him off. Sudhir said, “Puri sahab was a tough guy often. He would lose it if you shot after 12 in the night. ‘Kya hai yaar? Chal… leave it,’ he would say. He would be angry but would say, ‘Chal ghar pe, I’ll feed you bhindi.’ My films are mostly set in night, so he would get angry!”
Recounting another incident that irritated the actor, Sudhir said, “Sometimes you go on and on, make them do difficult things. Like I had placed two cameras in separate vans on the road and asked him to run, stop at markers, then turn, then run again and repeat this four times. He would do it, but if someone is running in heat with slippers on, by the third or fourth time he is bound to get irritated. He would say, ‘Tere saath nahi karuga ab aagey, tu bohot zyada karta hai (I won’t work with you anymore, you go to extremes). He was senior also to me.”
Sudhir did not collaborate again with Om Puri, who died at the age of 66 in January 2017. The filmmaker said the reason behind this was he believed in casting new actors instead of working again with artists like Naseeruddin Shah or Om Puri to ensure his films look different from each other. The last film Sudhir Mishra directed was Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Serious Men, a satirical comedy-drama that released on Netflix in October 2020.