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Lagaan’s Goli aka actor Daya Shankar Pandey: ‘We didn’t let Bhuvan and Gauri romance’

Actor Daya Shankar Pandey, who played Goli in Lagaan reveales his story of cold feet in the song "Mitwa" and how the cast did not let Aamir Khan's Bhuvan romance Gracy Singh's Gauri.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi |
June 14, 2021 9:58:45 pm
lagaan 20 years cast goli bhuvan aamir khan daya shankarLagaan was set in the 1890s British India. (Photo: Screenshot/Aamir Khan Productions)

For actor Daya Shankar Pandey, who played the fast bowler Goli in Ashutosh Gowariker’s cult film Lagaan, it was the dancing part which he dreaded. The actor, who had a proper song “Mitwa” along with Aamir Khan’s Bhuvan, revealed that he is happy that he refused to follow its choreography.

Lagaan, which released in 2001, will mark its 20th anniversary on June15. Ahead of the special day, Daya Shankar revisited the making of the epic saga, and also shared why “Mitwa” gave him a cold feet, literally.

Exclusively chatting with indianexpress.com, Daya recalled shooting the song, which was based around his character, a farmer by profession. He said, “Bhuvan is trying to convince me to join the cricket team. Even the lyrics were written accordingly – “Dharti ka raja hai tu” which means it’s talking about a farmer. The plan was that Aamir and I will dance. I even rehearsed with choreographer Ganesh Hegde for 4-5 days. But both of us banged our heads. I did try, but I noticed in the rehearsals that I was pathetic. I just couldn’t manage it. Then I went to Aamir and Ashutosh with folded hands requested them to not make me dance. I knew 20 years down the line, people will make fun seeing me dance with Aamir. Just to save my respect, I slowly retracted.”

lagaan stills cast aamir daya shankar rajesh vivek amin hajee Lagaan had an ensemble cast. (Photo: Screenshot/Aamir Khan Productions)

Daya shared that every day, the cast reached the set, got into their costumes and stayed around to shoot their scenes. He however, joked that the 11 actors were part of almost every scene in Lagaan, except one.

“If you notice, all of us are in every frame. We didn’t let Bhuvan and Gauri romance, we used to barge in everywhere. It was only the song “O Re Chori” where we are missing, because Bhuvan didn’t tell us. He just went on the hilltop and sang it secretly. If we knew, we would’ve reached there as well,” he said.

Lagaan, also starred Gracy Singh, Suhasini Mulay, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, AK Hangal, the British cast, apart from the eleven actors who formed team ‘Lagaan 11’.

The film was Aamir Khan’s debut production and it got nominated for the best foreign language film at the Academy Award, the following year.

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