8 years of Kaminey: When offered this film, Amole Gupte thought it was a prank

Amole Gupte considers himself more of a filmmaker than an actor. Yet he stunned everyone with his performance in Kaminey (2009) where he portrayed the role of Priyanka Chopra’s elder brother, Sunil Bhope aka Bhope bhau. As the film completes eight years of its release on August 14, Gupte reveals that he thought someone was playing a prank, when he got the offer for the film.

“Honey (Trehan) was a casting agent back then, and he had called me for the role in Vishal Bharadwaj’s film. I thought someone was playing a prank. My first reaction was, ‘Get off the phone!’ So he kept calling me, and I was ignoring it. But then finally we met,” he laughs, recalling the incident.

“Are you out of your head? You think I can act? I asked him. He then bought his laptop and showed me all the films I had done as an actor when I was in FTII. He said, ‘I don’t believe that you are just a filmmaker. You are a terrific actor, and we want you to work in the film,’” Amole adds.

Having played the role of the antagonist in Kaminey, the 55-year-old does feel that he has been stereotyped in the industry as an actor, but that doesn’t bother him. “It is a pretty stereotype-driven industry. But I am not bothered by that. I am primarily a filmmaker. I have played four or five roles of a villain, and I think Bhope bhau was one of the most well-balanced role that I have played till date. He was a typical gunda, from Maharashtra, so I didn’t have to do much research for it. I know a few characters like Bhope in real life, so I based him around them,” he shares.

A filmmaker himself, Amole learnt a lot from Vishal Bharadwaj on the sets of Kaminey. “It was a great experience to see him in action as a director. The filmmaker in me was watching and looking for every small detail. I’d see him testing himself, making ground-breaking cinema, and breaking stereotypes. I love that about him. There’s so much to learn from him,” he says.