‘Only Anurag Kashyap knew what he was making’
The gangster film series, Gangs of Wasseypur, which completes 5 years of its release today, can be counted among the biggest sleeper hits in the Hindi film industry. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, and starring actors such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Piyush Mishra, Huma Qureshi and Tigmanshu Dhulia, the storyline was applauded for its emotional rawness and its attempt at going beyond the conventional Hindi film sensibilities.
Actor Pankaj Tripathi (above), recalling his experience of working with Anurag in both the films, says, “We actors didn’t even know how the film was shot! The only thing we were aware of was the story. Only Anurag (Kashyap), the captain of the ship, knew what he was crafting. All of us would just do what he asked us to.”
Pankaj played the role of Sultan Qureshi, a butcher and henchman, whose only agenda was to kill Sardar Khan (played by Manoj Bajpayee) and his sons.
The actor tells how the cast initially had difficulty grasping the raw language spoken in the rural area, where the story was set.
“The language, though tough to speak, was learnt by everyone. The set, too, had an aura of its own. We never expected the film to turn out this way,” he says.
Ask Pankaj what was the toughest part during the shoot, and he says, “Since I play a butcher, most of my scenes were in an actual butcher house, and that also in a manual one. I belong to a Pandit family, and the sight of so much blood and the smell made all the actors vomit. It was really scary. Every person present there turned into a pure vegetarian for the next few months!”