In Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, Amole Gupte plays a Maharashtrian Mafioso. “And I had a ball! I could’ve made a career in acting in Mumbai. Years ago, I played the lead in Govind Nihalani’s brother Dayal’s film Gurudakshina. But I was wedded to the camera and the lens, not as an actor, but on much broader level. For ten years, I shifted to painting and lived a life of a painter.”
How Amole was persuaded to do Kaminey is a story in itself.
Chuckles Amole, “From the moment the promos started, I was flooded with calls about the film and my look. Acting is an ongoing process. All day along we’re acting in one way or another. So, I was never away from it. And in Taare Zameen Par, I lived every character from Little Ishaan (Darsheel) to the English and Hindi teachers Mr. Sen and Mr. Tiwari.”
Recalling how he agreed to play the main villain in Kaminey Amole says, “I though it was a crank call. A man’s voice named Honey introduced itself as Vishal Bhardwaj’s casting director and offered me a very important role, in the same space and zone as Langda Tyagi in Omkara. I banged the phone down not believing a word of what he said.”
But ‘Honey’ showed up in Amole’s office. “He had my resume as an actor right from the time in 1981 when I did my first diploma film as an actor. Honey was aware of all my 108 films as an actor in student films, also Ketan Mehta’s Holi and Dayal Nihalani’s Guridakshina. They convinced me that I was an actor. Finally I had to meet Vishal. My wife Deepa and I knew Vishal and his wife Rekha from the time I was doing dubbing direction for Kamal Haasan‘s Chachi 420. And I love his films.”
The ‘creative director’ of Taare Zameen Par is ready to direct another film Sapno Ko Ginte Ginte.
And like the much-acclaimed Taare, Sapnon…is also about the life and psychology of children.
Says Amole, “It took me so long to start another film after Taare Zameen Par, because I needed to tighten my script.
Amole is not really interested in casting a star in the film. “The kids are the star of Sapno Ko Ginte Ginte. But I do need a big brand to make the audience to come watch my film. However, the star shouldn’t feel he is doing the film and the children a favour by being part of the film.”
After Kaminey, Amole is ready to take on more acting assignments. “If it helps me to fund my film projects. But it has to touch me in some way. Otherwise I’d have become a permanent actor after Holi 22 years ago.”