Marathi actor Vaibhav Mangle who was once a teacher switched careers to act in theatre and films. Though good at comedy, he prefers character roles that give him the opportunity to show variations in an actor’s skills. The actor from popular Marathi television serial ‘Mazhe Pati Saubhagyavati’ was in Goa to perform at Kalarang 2017 and NT BUZZ caught up with him
SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
- Your playing the role of the eldest son in the play ‘Wada Chirebandi’ and its sequel ‘Magna Talyakathi’ both of which were a part of the Kalarang this year. Please elaborate upon your character in the plays.
The play is based on such family issues that have happened and have been happening in every village of India. I am playing the character of the eldest son in the family and my youngest brother is based in Mumbai for his work. The elder brother feels that his younger brother is earning better than him, while younger brother feels that elder brother is doing great through agriculture. But actually, both are facing the same situations economically. My son and daughter are illiterate and I am worried about both of them. In the sequel ‘Magna Talyakathi’, my son takes on the responsibilities of the house and starts doing great economically by illegal means and my daughter gets married off. Although I do not like the fact that my son is involved in illegal activities, I am satisfied that we are no longer poor. I cannot face my younger brother to tell him what my son is into. My role in the first part is of a responsible man who looks after his ancestral house and members of the family, while in the sequel, I am retired and much relaxed.
- You are well known for your humorous acts in comedy TV show ‘Fu Bai Fu’. Did you start your career as a comedian?
No, actually I am not a comedian; in fact I am a serious actor. I was a teacher in one of the schools at Ratnagiri district, working on a temporary basis. In those days, I faced lot of financial crisis because my salary wasn’t really enough to manage my house. Everyone who had seen my acting through plays in village or school suggested that I go to Mumbai and try my hand in acting. My uncle asked me to get into National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi. I knew that NSD wasn’t possible for me so I decided to go to Mumbai just for a year and struggle a bit to get into acting. I came to Mumbai, struggled for a few months and I was selected for a play ‘Mukkam Post Bombilwadi’ by theatre director Paresh Mokashi. I got settled a little with the ample of shows that the play had. Then, I did another play ‘Lagnkallol’ for which I won a Best Supporting Actor award. With this everyone suggested that I continue acting. From year 2001 to 2008, I continued doing theatre. Meanwhile, I also did some roles in a few Marathi soap operas but I did not get fame. In 2010, I participated in ‘Fu Bai Fu’, a Marathi stand-up comedy TV show on Zee Marathi. With this show, I got that celebrity status. Gradually I started acting in Marathi movies like ‘Kaksparsh’, ‘Timepass’, ‘Timepass 2’. So I didn’t start my career as a comedian and wouldn’t like to be tagged as one. I started my career doing a character role and I love doing it.
- You said that people told you to try your luck in acting. But did you ever feel that you should get into acting as well?
Yes, I did! The dramas that were directed in Mumbai would run their shows across Maharashtra. When they held a show in Ratnagiri I would watch all the plays. I would love the stage settings, sound effect, background music, light effects, costumes, etc, but I would always feel that I can act certain roles better than the actors on stage. People around me, especially my uncle, used to say that I have a good dialogue delivery. Hence, I knew that I am good at acting even before I started my career as an actor.
- Why do you like doing character roles?
I like doing character roles because an actor gets to try out new personalities and also gets an opportunity to change. If you get stereotyped as a particular genre like a comedian, there is no much life to it. Those who are known for their particular acting and who do not give in to change, their career remains comparatively shorter. Whereas character actors like Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Boman Irani they are versatile actors who have variations in each of their roles.
- Have the plays ‘Wada Chirebandi’ and ‘Magna Talyakathi’ helped you grow as an actor?
Yes, in fact these plays were a turning point in my life. When ‘Wada Chirebandi’ had just released, I was acting in another Marathi play ‘Karun Gelo Gaav’. ‘Wada Chirebandi’ is a serious theatre, while ‘Karun Gelo Gaav’ is a comedy. When people watched my comedy play and came to watch my serious role in ‘Wada Chirebandi’ they wouldn’t believe that it’s me acting in both the plays. I opine that a good actor must know how to mould the intensity according to his character in the play. A particular role must be performed in a particular way with the intensity that your role demands. It was a turning point because the audience began understanding that I am a good character artist who can play comedy and serious role quite well.
- You have done a positive role, a negative role and also that of a comedian; any particular role that you love doing personally?
No, actually I love any role that makes me engrossed into it so much that it makes me believe that I am such a person in reality as well. I love those roles that give me satisfaction with my performance. When I do not get satisfied with any of the roles that I perform, I do it but I do not remember it.
- Any upcoming projects?
I am doing a Hindi serial right now that is based on the life of Sai Baba. I am playing a negative role in that series. It will be telecast on Sony Entertainment Television. There are a few Marathi movies lined up as well, I am waiting for their releases.