Pankaj Tripathi: I’m a bigger outsider than others in Bollywood, as I come from rural India and studied in a Hindi medium school
Actor Pankaj Tripathi is perhaps among the best examples we currently have in Bollywood of someone coming into the industry from outside, without any connections, and yet making a mark. As the insiders vs outsiders debate is intensifying, star kids are at the receiving end of trolling on social media.
“We, as humans, should have empathy and kindness inside us. At the same time one doesn’t decide where they are going to be born, it’s not in our hands. I know right now, the entire world has below average sensibility, and making the facts reach people through social media is difficult,” says Tripathi, when asked about his Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl co-star, Janhavi Kapoor also being among those facing flak.
The 44-year-old says people don’t realise how what they are writing on social media can affect the person one is saying it to.+ +
“If someone is in front of me and I criticise or abuse them, we can see their reaction, and that they felt bad. But on social media, you don’t know how your comment is impacting the other person. I’m not in favour of or against anyone, but we should focus on how we can use social media creatively and healthy,” he adds.
Tripathi might be receiving accolades from the audience and critics alike today, but in a career spanning 16 years, his admits having gone through his share of struggle and hardships during his initial years. He reveals that he has done blink-and-miss parts too.
“Aapko maloom bhi nahi chalega main tha. And today, I’m giving you an interview, the public talks about me. Main toh zyaada wala outsider tha — I come from rural India, without an urban upbringing, and studied in a Hindi medium school. My journey is proof that hard work, passion and sincerity makes you reach somewhere,” says the actor, who has done films such as Newton, Gurgaon, Stree, Bareily Ki Barfi, Super 30, Luka Chuppi among others, and.goes on to admit that the insiders do enjoy privileges.+ +
Agreeing that star kids have an easy access to the bigwigs in the industry, Tripathi says, “Filmi parivaar ke bachhon ko advantage hai ki unko platform bauhaut asaani se mil jaayega. I’ve been acting for 24 years now. It could have been that in place of me, some film family kid would have been recognised right from their first film. But for them to survive, talent is necessary. After Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Monday onwards the public comes to see the film, not because someone is a producer, director or star’s kid. Even if it’s an average film, it could be average for us, but a big chunk of India’s public could consider it above that.”
He further quotes the example of outsiders such as Manoj Bajpayee, Sanjay Mishra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the late actor Irrfan, who have earned name and fame on their own merit minus any connections.
“In the film industry, there’s the so-called path breaking cinema, and big production houses. Our dear Irrfan did (films in) neither of them, but I haven’t seen a bigger actor than him in 20 years. The audience of India is democratic, they don’t make an average actor or film work. If it does work, then we can say it’s average, but it’s not that for them,” concludes the Mirzapur actor.
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