New Delhi | Nana Patekar on Thursday apologised for slapping a boy during a film shooting in Varanasi, saying that he mistook the selfie-seeking fan for his crew member.
A video of the veteran actor went viral on social media on Wednesday where he is hitting the boy who came close to him during a scene and tried to click a photo.
The "Vaccine War" actor, who was visibly angry, smacked the fan on the back of his head. A man stationed close to Patekar then grabs the young man by his neck and takes him away.
Patekar was shooting for filmmaker Anil Sharma's upcoming movie "Journey".
The 72-year-old actor posted a video message on microblogging site X and said the 10-second clip has been "misinterpreted" by many people.
"What actually happened was a misunderstanding during the rehearsal of a shot from my upcoming film 'Journey'," he wrote.
In his video message, Patekar clarified that he was shooting for a scene in which he was supposed to hit a crew member.
"In the scene, a man was going to ask me if I wanted to sell my hat. And I'm supposed to hit the man on the back of his head and tell him to not misbehave. We had one rehearsal and we were scheduled to have a second rehearsal.
"We were about to begin when the boy in the video came inside and I didn't know who he was, I thought he was our guy. So as per the scene, I hit him and told him that he should not misbehave. But then I realised he was not our guy. By the time I started calling him back, he ran away," the actor said.
Patekar said the incident happened by mistake and the crew looked for the young man a lot but he was nowhere to be found.
"I have never refused anyone for a picture. I have clicked thousands of photos with fans. The ghat is always so crowded, and this scene was being shot in the market. 'Ye galti se hogaya, humko malum nahi woh kaha se aaya' (This happened by mistake, I didn't know where he came from).
"If there is some misunderstanding, please forgive me. I never hit anyone and I have never done something like this. People of Kaashi and everyone have given me a lot of love, I would never do something like this. We searched for the boy a lot, because for no fault of his he got hit but we couldn't find him," he said.
Patekar was criticised on social media after the video became viral. However, director Sharma defended the actor and said somebody shared a portion of a scene from "Journey" without context.
"He (Patekar) has not slapped anyone, it is a shot from our film. People have a problem of making fuss out of nothing... We are currently filming in Benaras for the film, 'Journey'," Sharma told PTI.
"Patekar's character has dementia in the film. His mind is disturbed and a guy comes to click a picture with him. There are so many people around us, who are here to watch the shoot. I think someone clicked this particular portion, which is actually one of the scenes from the film," he added.