Agreed to do Kaala because I wanted to meet Rajini sir: Pankaj Tripathi
The actor, who will be seen in Kaala with Rajinikanth, talks about his upcoming films
A 12-year-wait before he was finally acknowledged by the Indian film audiences didn’t deter Pankaj Tripathi from doing what he does best. The fine actor is in the league of performers who have set the standards high for character actors. Be it playing the role of Aatma Singh, an army officer in Newton, or Narottam Mishra, Bitti’s father who shares a smoke with his daughter in Bareilly ki Barfi, Pankaj has delivered unforgettable performances.
Pankaj’s latest film Mango Dreams which was released on Netflix in March this year won him the Best Actor Award at the Capetown International Film Market and Festival. In addition, he was recently recognised for his role as the Best Supporting Actor in Newton at an award function. While many might whine about the long wait, Pankaj looks at it differently. “I belong to a farmer’s family so I understand that the seeds we sow will grow one day,” he says.
The actor who is currently shooting for the horror comedy Stree, with Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, in Bhopal, will also be seen in the upcoming Tamil film Kaala starring Rajnikanth. Pankaj, who plays a cop in Kaala, candidly admits, “I wanted to meet Rajini sir and get to see him at close quarters. That’s why I agreed to do the film!”
What makes the roles he plays so unforgettable is the fact that Pankaj tries to add a touch of reality to each one of them. Whether it’s a positive role, or a negative role, he makes the character relatable. “I always approach my characters with a human perspective. I try and seek humanity, and if that’s lacking, I try to imbibe it because I strongly believe that no matter how bad a person is, there is always some goodness in him,” explains Pankaj.
Sufi at heart
Now that he is famous, Pankaj gets recognised wherever he goes. His role as the ‘cool’ father, Narottam Mishra has certainly made him a star, particularly in small cities. “When I meet fans in small towns like Bhopal, Patna and Allahabad, some say their fathers are like my character and a few others say they want their fathers to be like him.”
When asked if he is affected by the new-found fame and glamour, Pankaj offers, “I am a Sufi at heart. I know that fame won’t last. People who take selfies with me now won’t take a selfie tomorrow. I don’t wear dark glasses and I don’t drive a car with tinted glasses. At the end of the day, I want to listen to Sufi music, travel and sleep in peace.” Pankaj will next be seen in Mirzapur that will be released later this year on Amazon Prime.