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Amey Wagh on 'Cartel': If it’s an underdog, it has to be played by me

Updated on: 07 September,2021 07:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Continuing his foray into Hindi showbiz with Cartel, Marathi actor Amey Wagh on why his role in the series is perfect for him

Amey Wagh on 'Cartel': If it’s an underdog, it has to be played by me

Amey Wagh

After watching him in Muramba (2017), it was a no-brainer that Marathi actor Amey Wagh would be our first choice from the Cartel cast for interactions. Mention that he was brilliant in the 2017 film, and he jokes that people only recognise him as “that actor opposite Mithila Palkar”. And thus begins our chat as Wagh — self-admittedly shy — discusses finding his feet in Hindi showbiz with ALTBalaji’s Cartel, and a role he would have opted for if Dhaval Jadhav hadn’t come his way.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

How long did the making of Cartel take?
We had to take breaks during the lockdown. [When we returned], it was hard to pick up from where we had left off the last time, but it was fun nonetheless. It takes patience and hard work to pull off a magnum opus like Cartel. All of us have been dealing with the lockdown blues for the past two years, but seeing the series made it all worth it.

How did the show come your way?
I believe you don’t choose projects; the project chooses you. That Ekta Kapoor wants me to be part of a show is a big compliment. I was excited about Dhaval Jadhav’s arc. My friend Jitendra Joshi plays Madhu Bhau in the show. That is a character I would have loved to play if I weren’t playing Dhaval. The moment I saw him enter the set in his get-up, I knew he owned the character.

Also Read:  Amey Wagh: In a film like zombie comedy, you can't really go prepared on set

What drew you to the role of Dhaval Jadhav?
I have mostly done Marathi films, where I played the boy-next-door or the chocolate boy. In Cartel, all the characters have grey shades. I loved that Dhaval is an underdog, which is something I can relate to. No one in Maharashtra can play the underdog better than me. If it is a Maharashtrian underdog, it has to be played by me. But he is also aggressive and has set out to achieve a lot of things.

Why do you think you would be perfect to play an underdog?
I always wanted to be an actor, but I never thought how far I would go. I am still struggling, but there are days when I get up and prove myself. That’s exactly the nature of an underdog — they believe in themselves even though the world doesn’t.

Having worked in Sacred Games 2 and Asur, is there a difference in the work culture between Hindi and Marathi industries?
The Marathi industry is not primarily star-driven. There have been times when I’ve stepped out of the Marathi industry, thinking, ‘How will I deal with new people? Will I fit into this group?’ But everyone has been welcoming. 

Did you have any inhibitions about joining Hindi showbiz?
I did. I was confused about the kind of roles I wanted to do, unsure about whom to work with and whom to avoid. When you are already part of a certain industry, people know you and expect a certain level of work. Since Maharashtrians also watch Hindi content, I didn’t want to disappoint them. I have to thank the [OTT] revolution [because of which] actors like me are getting meaty parts.

Do you feel the pressure of pleasing the audience?
No, I am having fun with the variety of work coming my way. The only pressure is to manage the dates. After the lockdown, when I was with my friends, they asked me about work. I grumbled that I was working day and night. Then one of them made me realise that I should be lucky to have work.

Also Read: Team 'Cartel' joins Mission Green Mumbai to plant trees in Aarey Forest

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