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16 years of Lagaan: When Yashpal Sharma got more money than he asked for

Actor Yashpal Sharma says he was offered more money than he expected for playing the role of Lakha in the 2001 film Lagaan.

bollywood Updated: Jun 15, 2017 10:09 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Yashpal Sharma,Lagaan,Aamir Khan
Actor Yashpal Sharma didn’t expect that he would bag Lakha’s role in Lagaan (2001).

Yashpal Sharma considers himself lucky that he was a part of a film like Lagaan, which was one of the first films that the Gangajal actor did in 2001. 16 years on, the actor says that he was more worried about the money than the role, which was offered to him.

“When I got selected for the film, I was told to come to meet Reena Dutt [Aamir Khan’s ex-wife] to discuss the money. I had decided that I will not take a rupee less than a lakh, because I had been struggling in the film industry for such a long time,” recalls Yashpal, who played the role of Lakha — the villager, who betrays the team.

He adds, “When I met Reenaji, she said, ‘the budget is pretty tight on this one, so we can only offer Rs 1.5 lakh. I don’t know what happened to me at that time and I replied, ‘No, I am not taking anything less than Rs 2 lakh. And she instantly agreed to it.”

In hindsight, Yashpal admits that he could have gotten away with more money if he had asked for it, but he has no regrets, since he got to be a part of a path-breaking film. “If I had asked for may be 5-6 lakhs, I’m sure, I would have got that too, but then I don’t have any regrets. That movie changed my fortune. I feel there are a very few films like these in my career that have really made a difference in my life,” says the actor.

Talking of his character, Yashpal admits that he never expected to bag the role of Lakha. “People had been talking about the film for a long time and most of the cast for the film had been finalised. They called me pretty late, so I thought I would get some small role. But then they told me that I would be playing Lakha, which was such an important character in the film. I was so excited to get that,” he adds.

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First Published: Jun 15, 2017 07:46 IST