The young Marathi film star had worked with the legendary artiste 15 years ago when he was just 17.
Dr Shriram Lagoo made me comfortable during Natsamrat, remembers Amey Wagh
Mumbai - 19 Dec 2019 17:00 IST
Dr Shriram Lagoo, who died on Tuesday aged 92, had an extensive body of work that stretched for over five decades. So it comes as no surprise that he had worked not only with the generation that started its career in the 1990s but even with those who began much later.
Amey Wagh, the currently popular young Marathi actor, too was among those had a golden opportunity to working with Dr Lagoo in his most celebrated play, Natsamrat, written by Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar.
It was 15 years ago, when Wagh was barely 17, that he got to play the character of the street urchin who helps Lagoo’s character in the play, the ageing one-time stage superstar Ganpatrao Belwalkar. In an exclusive conversation with Cinestaan.com, Wagh looked back upon the experience of working with a legendary artiste so early in his career.
“The experience of working with him was excellent,” said Wagh. “I had heard so much about him and seen his work as well. Everybody is an admirer of Dr Lagoo. He used to do experimental plays initially. I also used to do that at the start of my career.”
Explaining his comment, he said, “Of course we can’t be as great as him, but it feels good to know that you are walking the same path upon which he once walked.”
Natsamrat told the tale of a ageing thespian who has retired from theatre and fallen upon hard times and the tragedy he goes through in the final stages of his life.
Doing a play with Shriram Lagoo also meant that Amey Wagh got the chance to perform several rehearsals with him. “We did rehearsals together," the young star recalled. "I feel he was a great artiste because he was not just interested in bettering his work, but he was also concerned about the work of his co-stars. I got to learn a lot from him. It was such a fine experience.”
Asked what his reaction was when he, then a callow 17-year-old, learnt that he would have to act alongside such a veteran, he said, “Of course, I was very nervous. But he took good care of me in the entire process and made me feel comfortable. Hence, I didn’t face any problem while working. He never let me feel that he is very senior and I am so junior. So I didn’t have any tension about these things.”
In the scene where both actors engage in conversation, Wagh’s urchin is required to speak with Lagoo’s thespian as if he is chatting with a friend of the same age. This was a major challenge for Wagh. “It was very difficult," he said. "How could I behave like a friend with him? It was indeed difficult. But as I said, he knew I was a new actor, so he handled it well. I don’t think we will see another actor of that stature in the next 100 years.”
This was Amey Wagh's scene with Dr Shriram Lagoo in the play Natsamrat:
डॉ. लागूंनी नटसम्राटचं जे शेवटचं सादरीकरण केलं ते मला जवळून अनुभवता आलं! निर्माते @anishjoag आणि @nandineejoag ह्यांच्यामुळे मला वयाच्या १७ व्या वर्षी ही संधी मिळाली ! तालमी आणि शूटिंग दरम्यान ह्या नटसम्राटाच्या सानिध्यात राहून जे अनुभवलं ते अद्भूत होतं आणि जे शिकायला मिळालं ते माैल्यवान होतं ! डाॅ.लागू म्हणजे तपश्चर्या आणि विचारसरणी! ती कधीही संपणार नाही ! विनम्र आदरांजली 🙏