Doing the work always wanted to do: Pankaj Tripathi on National Award win, two decades in showbiz

01:22 PM Oct 18, 2023 | PTI |

Twenty years and two National Awards later, popular actor Pankaj Tripathi says he is happy to be working in films that narrate stories he always wanted to be associated with.


It’s a happy coincidence that Tripathi received the best supporting actor National Award for ”Mimi”, a day after he completed 20 years in Mumbai.

”I am happy and humbled. I feel anything is possible if you persevere and do your work with honesty. I completed 20 years in Mumbai yesterday. This is my second honour at the National Awards. I’m grateful to all the viewers, all my directors, Laxman Utekar (director of ‘Mimi’), and the jury for choosing me.

”To the audience members who have given me so much love. At the awards ceremony, people came up to me and said my win feels like a personal achievement to them. It feels great since I have also come from the masses,” the 47-year-old actor told PTI in an interview here.

Tripathi, known for films ”Gangs of Wasseypur”, ”Masaan”, ”Stree” and web series ”Mirzapur” and ”Criminal Justice”, started his career with an uncredited role in the 2003 Kannada film ”Chigurida Kanasu”.


Today, the Bihar-born actor is known by several of his character names: be it Rudra bhaiya from horror comedy ”Stree” or Kaleen Bhaiya from crime drama series ”Mirzapur”. He will next be seen playing the role of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in ”Main Atal Hoon”.

Asked how he envisions the future, Tripathi, who received a National Award – Special Mention for 2017’s ”Newton”, said, ”The next 20 years also look promising.” ”The kind of stories I wanted to do and the kind of filmmakers I wanted to work with, that’s happening now. (For example) I’ve seen the rough cuts of two of my upcoming films ‘Kadak Singh’ and Atal ji’s biopic…” he added.

The actor, who was accompanied by his wife Mridula and daughter Aashi, said he has finally managed to achieve some work-life balance.

”It wasn’t like that before. I used to work a lot, I was in a lot of rush. During my days of struggle, I used to come back home late at night as I was constantly on the move in search of work. My daughter would be asleep. I didn’t even get a weekly off, not even a Sunday.

”Now, there is some discipline in my life. I take weekly offs, I spend time with family as much as possible. I also feel good about it. Earlier, I wouldn’t even have time for myself. Now, I practice yoga or go jogging, walking for an hour or so,” he shared.

Tripathi also talked about his latest releases ”OMG 2” and ”Fukrey 3”, which has earned over Rs 100 crore at the box office.

”Despite an A certificate, ‘OMG 2’ is being praised and doing so well on OTT. Laughter is very important for life and ‘Fukrey 3’ does just that. Both the films are receiving appreciation and love from the audience. I’m grateful,” he said.

His favourite job is acting, irrespective of the platform, cinema or OTT, added the actor.

”I enjoy acting. I’m getting to know myself better through acting. Every character gives me something in return. Every story makes me aware about something new. Life’s short and it takes us a long time to get to know ourselves. All in all, it feels like we know ourselves so little.” From Bhanu, his character in ”Mimi”, Tripathi said he learnt to honour one’s commitment come what may. Kaleen bhaiya from ”Mirzapur” taught him how to run an organisation.

”You have to be skillful to run a business. You will have to do everything – saam, daam, dand, bhed. But luckily, it’s more important for characters, not for life. Life is better when it’s simple and normal,” he said.

The actor will also be seen in ”Mirzapur” season three and ”Stree 2”.


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