‘I’m getting wonderful scripts, but there’s no time’
Baap re baap, ab itne log jaanne lag gaye hain,” actor Pankaj Tripathi exclaims in acknowledgement of the love and praise he has received for his versatile roles across films and web series over the years. He says that he is swarmed with good scripts, but doesn’t have enough time to devote to all. “Two years ago, I used to feel that I have done so many films...who knows me. Now I wonder... Baap re baap, ab itne log jaanne lag gaye hain (so many people have started recognising me). I don’t know what’s happening. I am only doing my work with sincerity. Rest, I don’t know what is happening,” says Pankaj, who is glad that his recent web series is “getting a lot of love.”
From playing Sultan Qureshi in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) to leading the cast of the film Gurgaon (2017) and playing a pivotal role in a web series — Pankaj’s growth trajectory is a shining example of how character artists are coming into their own with the changing landscape of Indian showbiz. He will soon be seen in films Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai and Luka Chhupi.
“There are so many offers, but I am booked till August. I’m getting some wonderful scripts in the independent cinema space, but there’s no time. Either I am telling the filmmakers to wait for me...But nobody will wait for me till next year. Still, I am taking out time in between everything and managing what I can,” says the National Award winner, who will also be seen as a flamboyant south Indian film star in Indrajit Lankesh’s Shakeela and as a farmer in Satish Kaushik’s Kaagaz.
There is a lot that Pankaj adds to his roles, taking it beyond the written character. “I do some writing in all my roles. There are small things that I improvise on. I read a lot, and travel a lot, so there is a reflection of that when I talk,” he explains, adding that while improvisation is an important tool for an actor to immerse himself in a role, it is not something that all actors can do. If you have experience, if you are widely read and have lived life, then you can do it. Otherwise, for improvisation, your basics need to be strong.
Actor Pankaj Tripathi says he is booked till August next year