‘Timid and spineless’: Panchayat actor Pankaj Jha takes a dig at Anurag Kashyap

The actor was supposedly the first choice to play the character of Sultan Qureshi in Anurag’s Gangs of Wasseypur before the role went to Pankaj Tripathi
Pankaj Jha and Anurag Kashyap
Pankaj Jha and Anurag Kashyap

Panchayat actor Pankaj Jha recently opened up about being offered the role of Sultan Qureshi in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). The role eventually went to Pankaj Tripathi due to some miscommunication. Pankaj Jha had earlier collaborated with Anurag in Gulaal (2009) and Black Friday (2004).

In an interview with Digital Commentary, the actor, who played Vidhayak Ji in Panchayat, revealed that he was the first choice for the role of the dreaded gangster in Anurag’s crime drama. He said that Anurag approached him to play the part when he was in Patna for a shoot. Saying that he would be there in two days, Anurag had promised him the role. However, Pankaj Tripathi was later cast in the role.

Speaking about it, he said, “While films like Satya (1998) and Gulaal create actors, they also make directors. But there are so many timid and spineless people here that they can’t even keep their word.” He also clarified that he doesn’t hold any grudges against the director. “Nevertheless, I still love Anurag very much and have no complaints against anyone,” he said.

Pankaj Jha is an alumnus of National School of Drama who has played some understated roles in films like Company (2002), Monsoon Wedding (2001), Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi (2003).

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