Mohan Agashe upbeat about his Malayalam debut
Well known actor and psychiatrist Mohan Agashe will be seen doing a brief role in the Shaji Kailas-directed and Renji Panicker-scripted film The King And The Commissioner.
Mammootty and Suresh Gopi play the lead roles in the film currently being filmed in Kochi.
Mohan Agashe's forte is theatre, but he has acted in numerous films as well. He was director of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune in the late 1990s.
In this interview, he talks to Meghna George about his life and his experience working in a Malayalam film for the first time.
How did you become part of this Malayalam film?
It happened by chance. I don't know how my name cropped up for the role but I think it was Mammootty who suggested my name. We had met during the shooting of Jabbar Patel's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Of course I have seen some of his films and have great respect for him. I thought it is a good opportunity for me, and so I accepted the offer.
What's your experience of shooting for the film?
The language is a bit tough but the atmosphere is absolutely great. People are so relaxed and everyone seems to know their job very well. I am enjoying the experience.
Image: Mohan Agashe
'I am not working harder than any average person'
Do you keep track of what is happening in regional language films?
It is not easy to keep track of films in each language but the film festivals provide a wonderful platform in this regard. Regional language films have been doing very well. I feel Marathi films have done particularly well in the last decade or so, but it isn't easy going with Mumbai being the centre of the Hindi film industry. Still, some bright talents have emerged in recent times and that is quite heartening.
You are a psychiatrist by profession and an actor by choice. How do you manage both passions simultaneously?
As it happens, you choose one profession for your survival, but there is another that gives more meaning to your life. It actually helps me because if you do the same thing over and over again, you may not like it. And believe me, I am not working harder than any average person.
But you are more active in the theatre circuit?
Yes, I don't do too many films. But I have been active in the theatre right from my school days. I continued with the passion during my medical career as well. Right now I am part of the play Katkon Trikon (The Right-Angled Triangle), which has completed more than 100 stages.
Image: A still from The King And The Commissioner
'I hope to do more Malayalam films'
You have also been part of certain ad films like the Airtel one with Rajat Barmecha.
(Smiles) Yeah, I enjoyed the experience.
What was your stint as director of FTII like?
It was an absolutely wonderful experience. We tried to implement several changes and the effects have been seen in later years.
If you are offered good Malayalam films, will you do more of them?
Of course. It was great shooting for The King And The Commissioner and I hope to do more films here if I get some good roles.
Image: Mohan Agashe