Captain on Everest too
For an actor, even though it is a smaller role in Hollywood that is a big achievement,” well-known Nepali actor Vijay Lama says of an actor’s Hollywood love. After 33 years in the Nepali film industry, the versatile Lama is a part of a Hollywood production starring alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal — a disaster drama and adventure thriller Everest. With the release date of movie approaching (worldwide release on September 25 and South Asia premiere on September 16), Lama says he feels good because “I think this is an achievement”.
In an exclusive interview with The Himalayan Times, Lama says that in the movie — based on 1996 Mt Everest disaster — he is playing “Colonel Madan KC, the rescue squad mission commander”.
• Among acting, flying, music and playing tennis, he regards music as the most important because it is done during both happiness and sadness.
• Had there been a better environment like today, he would have been a chef. He makes delicious spaghetti, daal bhat tarkari, chicken but Lama vouches for his omelette as the best.
• He says Nepali films have become much better in terms of technicality and the new generation is talented — actors Aryan Sigdel, Karma, Priyanka Karki, Namrata Shrestha along with directors late Alok Nembang, Suraj Sunuwar, et cetera. However, he feels a need to increase the films’ budget while raising actors’ and technicians’ pay.
• He is the biggest fan of actor Saugat Malla — “he is a hardcore actor and is so intense. I want to work more with him”.
• He became No 1 Nepal junior in tennis. And he has memories of playing with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.
• Whenever he would go for a movie shoot, people would say the ‘pilot’ has come, and while flying, people would say the ‘hero’ has come.
• He has worked in Most Extreme Airports of the World (Fox History Channel) and Extreme Airports
• Lama says he was originally offered the lead role (played by Keanu Reeves) in Little Buddha, but later the plan changed and he was asked to do some other role. Lama refused.
• Two high altitude Nepali Sherpas — Pemba Sherpa and Aang Phula Sherpa — have also worked in the Everest.
He remembers, “Josh Brolin was really good ; Jason Clarke was okay; Martin Henderson was really good — we used to hang out in Italy.”
• He claims top have broken the trend — doing the role of anti-hero in Zindagani after being a hero and acting in music video, which nobody had done then.