My role in Mirzapur is very different from those in Gangs of Wasseypur and Gurgaon: Pankaj Tripathi
The star cast of Mirzapur — Amazon Prime Video's ambitious new gangster drama now available for streaming — share their experience of working on the epic show
Amazon Prime Video's prestige gangster drama, Mirzapur, was released on the streaming platform last Friday. This is Amazon's third Indian original series after Inside Edge and Breathe. The nine-episode series is set against the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh's criminal underworld, and stars an ensemble cast consisting of Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Rasika Dugal and Divyendu Sharma. The show is produced by Excel Entertainment, and directed by Karan Anshuman and Gurmeet Singh.
Speaking about his ganglord character, Kalin Bhaiya, Pankaj Tripathi says, "It was a very interesting and exciting part to play. The digital space allows you to go deep into your role and perform freely and fearlessly. I have played gangster characters before in Gangs of Wasseypur and Gurgaon, but Kanil Bhaiya is quite different from them. He is very outspoken and verbal. He also has an internal side, but he tries to hide it."
In Mirzapur, Ali Fazal and Vikrant Massey play two brothers, Guddu and Balbu, who get lured into a life of crime by Kalin Bhaiya.
Sharing his experience of working in the show, Ali Fazal says, "Usually, the writing in our films and shows is very one-dimensional. Mirzapur, on the other hand, is intricate and layered. The trajectory of every character keeps colliding with the others. The show evokes a sense of time and place. Even if someone is getting bored, he will at least learn how kalin (carpets) are made. So there's an informative aspect to the show as well."
Vikrant Massey adds, "What was of paramount importance to me when I read the script of Mirzapur was how well the world it is set in is fleshed out. It was as if the world was flying off the pages. I was instantly hooked. I always had a secret desire of doing a rustic and rooted role like this. I also wanted to work with the terrific ensemble, especially Pankaj, Ali and Shweta, who are unbelievable actors."
Like Vikrant, Rasika Dugal, last seen opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Nandita Das' Manto, was attracted to the newness of her part. "I'd never been offered a part like this before. I was very excited, but also nervous. It was a new experience for me. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off. But once we starting shooting, I got the hang of the character and had a great time playing her."
Praising the female characters in Mirzapur, Shweta Tripathi says, "I always wanted to play a mafia queen. Generally gangster dramas portray women characters in a certain way. However, in Mirzapur, even if we are not always on the foreground, you will constantly stay hooked to our characters and keep guessing what they are up to next. All the credit goes to the writers of the show for putting this epic story together so brilliantly."