I want my characters to stay aware: Pankaj Tripathi

Bedika
·4-min read

New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) His roles may have been varied but there is always an attempt on Pankaj Tripathi’s part to keep his characters contemporary, something that the actor says is reflective of his own need to stay aware as a human being.

Tripathi is capping 2020 on a high note with “Ludo”, Anurag Basu’s highly anticipated ensemble where he is in a crucial role of Sattu, a wise beyond the years, sometimes endearing but otherwise a dangerous gangster. It was a character that Basu said he wrote keeping Tripathi in mind.

Asked about the philosophical outlook that ties together his characters from “Sacred Games”, “Stree”, “Newton”, “Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl”, “Mirzapur” to his latest film, the actor said it may have something to do the way he is in real life.

“Yes, there is something like this in my dialogues. I am not sure why it’s there, maybe it is because I try to keep my characters contemporary. Like people have social media, I believe as an actor cinema is my medium where I should be able to say whatever is happening in the world through my characters,” Tripathi told PTI in an interview.

The 44-year-old actor, who hails from Belsand village in Gopalganj district of Bihar, joked that even the common people in the Poorvanchal region generally speak in a philosophical tone.

“But the awareness I have as a human being, I want my characters to have that even though they come from different worlds. I feel awareness has nothing to do with education. There is a term that people use nowadays and that’s called ‘woke’. I want my characters to stay aware and sometimes even an ordinary dialogue spoken in a certain way can feel philosophical,” he added.

'Ludo', a dark comedy inspired by the popular indoor game, carries four stories together with Tripathi’s Sattu acting as the dice.

Basu said Tripathi’s character has a “domino effect”, impacting all the other stories and in the process ends up with a story of his own.

There is a romantic track involving Sattu and nurse Latha (played by Shalini Vats) when he is hospitalised after a series of accidents.

In one of the scenes, Tripathi's character spreads his arms, forgetting that he is walking on crutches, and the actor said he doesn't remember whether the gesture, popularised by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, was deliberate or spontaneous.

“When you see cinema, you sometimes cannot realise whether a particular element has come to cinema from the society or cinema has brought it to the society. You will find many real-life gangsters who behave in a filmy manner and there are many real life weddings happening the way they used to in cinema.

“Sometimes reality is more fictional and we are trying to find realism in cinema. It won’t be surprising that many youngsters use this gesture (spreading their arms) in real life now because it is so popular. Maybe Sattu watches a lot of movies,” he said.

The actor said Basu was responsible for his stylish, '70s hero style entry in the movie, which was changed from what was originally planned.

Tripathi said he had fun playing the character which goes through many comical mishaps in the course of the movie, sometimes being thrown out from a bridge or being run over by a car.

“I have never done so much action. Sometimes I am falling from the roof, or hanging from a crane and then falling. Every day on the shoot, I would get to know that I had a new action scene.

“I never filmed so many accident scenes in any film and the interesting part is that I had hurt my back in a real accident before the shooting. So I was not very confident about doing all those scenes but somehow managed.” “Mirzapur” started streaming from last month on Amazon Prime Video and now “Ludo” is coming on Netflix following the success of “Gunjan Saxena”, making it a great year for Tripathi but the actor said he is not someone who overthinks.

“My journey started in 1996 in a theatre. It has been almost 24 years. It is a journey of hope and aspiration and proves that this world is not as bad as we think. If you are honest in your work and you have talent, it is rare for that talent to go waste,” the National School of Drama graduate said.

'It takes time, like everywhere else. People are giving me a lot of love and like I always say there is no logic in love. ‘Maine bhi nahi khojta (I too don't look for it),' he added.

'Ludo', also starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Rohit Saraf, Pearl Maaney, Inayat Verma, and Asha Negi, is slated to be released on Thursday. PTI BK RDS RDS