PeepingMoon Exclusive: 'Marathi film industry isn't recognised enough due to audience priority,' says Amey Wagh as he sheds light on popularity of South cinema
Amey Wagh's portrayal of Rasool Shaikh in the critically acclaimed franchise Asur is receiving appreciation. Now, as the second season of the series has premiered on JioCinema, PeepingMoon spoke to the renowned Marathi actor.
Talking to us about Asur 2 and working in the Hindi entertainment industry, Amey opened up about OTT blurring the lines between superstars and actors, bringing Marathi films to Bollywood for the Hindi audience and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
Rasool is an unconventional antagonist; someone who is diabolic mentally. Were you sceptical about playing the role?
I wasn't sceptical about it. I had done Marathi projects in the past and Asur was among the initial web series offers I received. I played the lead in slice-of-life films and when I was about to step into the Hindi web space, I wanted to do something different. I was interested in the fact that Rasool is a cold-hearted antagonist.
To play the character, did you ever go inside the dark rabbit hole?
I didn't go down the rabbit hole but I knew it is going to be difficult. Rasool is always in the background and never in the foreground. He is passively doing things and hiding from the limelight and wouldn't react to situations. He is a man of few words. To get into the skin of Rasool, I would keep to myself on sets. Otherwise, I am very chatty, often mingle with people and will never sit in a corner. During the making of Asur 1 and 2, I was very composed and quiet. I would wear my headphone and prepare myself to be in that zone.
Did you take Rasool home after shooting for the series?
I left him on set as I cannot take him home. He will destroy your life and of people around you.
After working for several years in the entertainment industry, did you have to unlearn anything for Asur?
I didn't have to unlearn as such but I learnt a lot of new things. It was a set where people haven't seen my past work. I was meeting a new bunch of people for the first time. It was good to meet like-minded people. I have been a fan of Arshad Warsi and I got to work with him. Barun Sobti, Ridhi Dogra, and Meiyang Chang were incredible people to work with. Since all the episodes are now out, it is great to see how all departments came together to make such a beautiful show.
Do you feel the OTT boom has blurred the lines between superstars and actors?
It has blurred lines but also carved new paths. For someone like me, I never thought I would be interested in doing something out of my Marathi industry. I was very happy doing Marathi films and still have a lot to achieve there. OTT has definitely helped artistes like me to get noticed and I don't think there are superstars any more. There are only a few stars left and I believe content is the only superstar.
Would you like to bring any of your Marathi films to a Hindi audience?
Regional cinema is now getting noticed and the actors are getting famous across the country. I believe there's no need to bring regional content including Marathi films to Bollywood. Filmmakers should make films in the language they're comfortable in and what's true to the subject. Regional is now global.
South film fraternities like Tollywood, Sandalwood and Mollywood are more appreciated and praised than the Marathi cinema industry. Do you feel people are being unfair and over-critical about Marathi films?
It is difficult to compare because, in the South, they don't follow Hindi that much. The pride they have for their content is unmatched because they're not introduced to any other language. Marathi and Hindi are like sisters. People who can read and write Marathi can follow Hindi. It's not difficult. Mumbai is the epicentre of Hindi and Marathi. There are no other states in the country where 2 industries are striving. That's why Marathi is facing difficulty in terms of audience priority. But I am someone who will never stop romanticising Marathi content and will work hard to make it global.