Pankaj Tripathi on Kaagaz: ‘No one would have thought that a plain-looking guy like me could be lead actor of any film’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Pankaj Tripathi on Kaagaz: ‘No one would have thought that a plain-looking guy like me could be lead actor of any film’

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Dec 26, 2020 07:09 AM IST

Actor Pankaj Tripathi, who arrived in Mumbai in 2004 to pursue his passion as an actor, says he would never have expected back then to be a lead actor in any film. He will soon be seen as the lead in Kaagaz.

Actor Pankaj Tripathi may have a career as a life coach, should he ever feel like switching fields. However, for us movie lovers’ sake, we hope he doesn’t. Pankaj, who has made a name for himself as Bollywood’s sweetest papa and also its most sinister gangster, says he is a content man who knows how to be happy with whatever he has got.

Pankaj Tripathi will play the lead in Kaagaz.
Pankaj Tripathi will play the lead in Kaagaz.

Pankaj will now be seen as the solo lead of an upcoming film titled Kaagaz. A lead role may have come after a long time in the film industry for Pankaj but he did not feel ‘restless’ in his desire for it. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Pankaj said, “Main santush jeev hu (I am a content man). I am satisfied with what I have. I don’t worry about it too much. Of course, everyone wants to succeed in life, be in a better position than they are in life. But I am satisfied wherever I am. Chahat zaroor thi lekin bechaini nahi thi (I did desire it but it did not make me restless),” he said.

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But having finally landed a film of his own, Pankaj could not be more excited. When he made his entry into the film industry almost two decades ago, he didn’t expect that someone who ‘looked like him’ could make it big as a hero in Bollywood. “It’s a hero-centric society right? We like heros, worship them, copy them. And the hero of this film is Lal Bihari. I never came to Mumbai to be a hero, I came here to act and follow my passion. I had never thought that someday there will be a film in which I will play the lead. Because as early as 16 years ago (we came here in 2004), no one would have thought that a 45-year-old man, a plain-looking guy like me, could be the lead actor of any film. So when this thing happened two years ago, I got excited about the opportunity,” he said.

“In a script, I only read the part that concerns me. I tell the writer to tell me only however much that my character knows. For example, in shows such as Mirzapur or any of my series, I never know the whole story. But here (in Kaagaz), my character knows everything because it is his story,” he added.

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Directed by Satish Kaushik, Kaagaz is the story of a man from Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, who has been listed as dead in the official books. It tells his struggles and challenges as he fights against the unfair bureaucracy to prove himself alive. When asked if he remembers any instance from his own life when he had to face similar troubles, he said, “I remember I made a mistake. Wrote my surname wrong. My father’s name is Tiwari but I wrote Tripathi in Class 10. By myself. Usko correct karane mein humare paseene nikal gae the (Getting that corrected was a big task). Took almost 6 months to a year. So it happens quite often.

Kaagaz releases on Zee5 on January 7.

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    Soumya Srivastava is Entertainment Editor at Hindustan Times. She writes about movies and TV because what else is there to life anyway.

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