Pankaj Tripathi shares his joys of acting and cultivating

November 22, 2022 | 04:52 IST

Pankaj Tripathi shares his joys of acting and cultivating

The only Bollywood actor to have released eight releases during the two-year-long Covid pandemic, Pankaj Tripathi was in Goa to give a masterclass. Speaking exclusively to Herald, he shares his journey and love for farming

Dolcy D’Cruz

One of Pankaj Tripathi’s most adorable features is its straightforward dialogue. Whether he plays a supportive father in ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ or a notorious gift in ‘Ludo’, there is a down-to-earth trait that draws audiences to his role. Although Bihar-born Pankaj is stringing back-to-back successes now, he had his own struggle to make a name for himself in the film industry. “I entered the industry in 2002 and in 2015 people recognized me as an actor after ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. It was a difficult journey. I studied acting in Bihar and graduated from National School of Drama (NSD).You must do your study and self-assessment before you start working in the film industry.NSD does not help you get roles, but it does train you to play roles. You won’t get a job, but when you get one, you’ll do it well,” says Pankaj, who will play former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his upcoming biopic, due for release in 2023. The actor is often seen with a young and dynamic cast in films “I am comfortable with any cast, regardless of the director who plays in the film. Even I am young since I I’m only 47. In ‘Mirzapur’, the actor who plays my son is only 7 years younger than me. with all my co-actors. In the web series ‘Criminal Justice’, the actor who plays the role of my wife, it was his first break. Even the ‘Kaagaz’ actress, it was her first Hindi film. There are always new actors around me in film scenes. There are no criteria for playing with me, whoever has talent is cast in the film and I leave accordingly for the shoots. This is where I forge my friendships and great camaraderie,” says Pankaj who loves rooted stories, whether rural or urban. Her favorite films include ‘Newton’ and ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’. He considers the late Irrfan Khan and Manoj Bajpai his idols. “I do comedy and then I don’t know where the movie is traveling or how many screens it’s going to be released, when it’s coming to OTT, how the promotions are going to be. I only know cinema and nothing else about movies and I don’t want to know those details either. I’m not interested,” Pankaj adds. During the Covid pandemic, when the whole world was at a standstill, Pankaj spent his time walking around and cooking. However, his films have always entertained audiences. “I had eight films released during Covid. I was the only Indian actor whose films came out at least every two months. These include ‘Ludo’, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Kaagaz, Mimi, Bunty Aur Babli 2 83, and the Criminal Justice web series. Except for Bunty Aur Babli 2 and 83, all movies were released on OTT. My next films include ‘Oh My God 2’ and ‘Fukrey 3’. What does Pankaj like besides acting? “I love farming. I have a small piece of land near Mumbai, in addition to fields in Bihar. I have mangoes, chickoos, papayas, turmeric, lemons, black pepper and jackfruit growing on this little patch of land. I was a farmer before entering the cinema. concludes Pankaj.

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