Actor Pankaj Tripathy , hails from a small village in Bihar . He debuted in 2004 with a minor role in Run and Omkara and has since worked in more than 40 films and 60 television shows. Tripathi’s breakthrough came in 2012 for his antagonistic role in the Gangs of Wasseypur film series.
His acting represents him and he is most likely the best performer that the Hindi Cinema world has found. Pankaj Tripathi has always impressed audience with various characters that he has played in his career of almost 2 decades.
With the release of Amazon Prime show Mirzapur , Tripathy has played the character of Akhandanand Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya .
In an exclusive interview of Pankaj Tripathi with DNA , he talked about his role in the series and and substantially more about his career and life.
Upon being asked about ‘Mirzapur’ as one of the biggest series on OTT right now , he said :“We always knew we were working on a good script with a great storyline but didn’t know that Mirzapur will become so popular among the masses and will be liked by so many that it will become a ‘cult’.”
Opening about Akhandanad Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya and revealing that he never took inspiration from any real-life character to play the particular role, adding he solely relied on the writer’s vision, Pankaj said, “I essayed the role completely on the basis on the script that was given to me. Never took any inspiration from anyone in real-life.”
Pankaj is a polite personality in real , so he added that like his character in Mirzapur (‘Kaleen Bhaiya’), he himself is a very soft-spoken person.
When asked about his reaction to Kaleen Bhaiya becoming one of the greatest villains of all time and being compared to the likes of iconic characters such as Mogambo (Amrish Puri) and Shakaal (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), Pankaj said, “I feel humbled. It is an achievement for me that the audiences liked Kaleen Bhaiya and are comparing him to legendary, iconic characters. It’s an honour and I will make an effort to do even better every time I come on-screen or play a character.”
During the interaction, when asked what ‘ingredients’ he puts in his roles citing that audiences mostly like all his characters, Pankaj said, “I put in honesty, entertainment, sincerity and a little bit of the craft of acting.”
Speaking about the women of ‘Mirzapur 2’ and how meatier roles are being written for females as far as digital scripts are concerned, Pankaj told DNA in an exclusive chat, “In today’s time, modern writers are writing very good scripts and there is consciousness among them to write good roles for women.”
He added, “The women of Mirzapur are very strong and live life by their own rules. Yes, the world of Mirzapur is dark, therefore, they live accordingly and may come across as dark as well, but otherwise, all the female characters are very strong and opinionated.”
Reacting to Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel‘s demand for action against the web series for portraying the city in a bad light, Pankaj told DNA, “There is a disclaimer that comes before every episode which reads that Mirzapur is a fictional story and does not have any relation to an individual and/or place. I am an actor and I wouldn’t have much to say on this beyond what I have stated.”
“Having said that, I would like to add that in ‘Mirzapur’ series, if there are criminals, there’s also a hero by the name Ramakanth Pandit (Rajesh Tailang), who wants to do good for the city,” he added.
For the unversed, on October 24, taking to her verified Instagram handle, Mirzapur MP Anupriya Patel had said that through the web series ‘Mirzapur’, the makers are portraying Mirzapur as a violent city and also spreading ethnic disharmony and demanded immediate action against the showrunners.
Meanwhile, moving on with the interaction with Pankaj, digressing from “Mirzapur’ and speaking about his upcoming film ‘Ludo’, where the actor plays a lovable gangster, Pankaj told DNA, “The entire experience of working with Abhishek (Bachchan), Aditya (Roy Kapur) and Rajkummar (Rao) was amazing. They are all very talented artists and I had a great time working with them.”
On being asked why he chose to play a gangster yet again, Pankaj said the only reason he agreed to do the film was that he wanted to work with filmmaker Anurag Basu. He said :“I like Anurag Basu as a director and the world he creates through his films. I wanted to work with him. One day, Dada (Anurag Basu) called and spoke about the film and my role and I just agreed instantly.”
Helmed by Anurag Basu, ‘Ludo’ has an ensemble cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Rajkummar Rao.