With North-South divide blurring and entertainment industry becoming one, more and more actors are trying to work in different languages. However, despite having a fan base across the country and having a brilliant filmography, actor Pankaj Tripathi has his reasons of staying away from non-Hindi projects. While speaking during a masterclass at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the actor said that it’s “due to the language barrier.”
“I get a lot of good offers from Telugu film industry that too for big films. But I’m so busy with my Hindi movie commitments. It is also because I’m not able to speak the languages. I did one movie down South with this brilliant writer-director Veeru Potla (’Doosukeltha’). But when I was working on that movie, I realised that I’m not able to speak the language and I can’t say ABCD and act for the camera. So it is due to the language barrier. Otherwise, I would love to do something down south,” said the actor, who was at IFFI to present his latest film Kadak Singh, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury of Pink fame.
The movie, which also features Parvathy Thiruvothu and Sanjana Sanghi, was screened as part of the World Gala Premiere section.
Tripathi, who was last seen in OMG 2, also touched upon the topic of star and actor and the distinction. “The trend of actors having a certain mannerism or style has diminished now. And even stars want to be called actors now,” he says, adding that this has given actors like him a chance to experiment. “Agar wo stardom ka darja mil jaae toh hum apne create kiya hue mannerism me phass jaate hain and experimentation becomes difficult,” he explains.
During the conversation, when the moderator Mayank Shekhar pointed out how Tripathi wasn’t given the credit for his role in the film Run, the actor quickly states, “It’s the story of life. Kabhi credit milega, kabhi nahi. But one needs to continue working with honesty.”
And that’s what he did, irrespective of the length or importance of his role in the project. In fact, he was praised for the same by veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt after he saw him perform in the 2017 satirical drama Newton. “He told me, ‘Pankaj, I’ve called you to say that you were very good in the film. In three or four places, you were out of focus in a wide angle shot as you were standing far behind. But still you were truthful to the craft. So just maintain this truth in your acting.’”
The journey from being a nobody to becoming one of the most sought after actor wasn’t an easy one. Tripathi recalled carrying around a Police Inspector’s uniform so as to get small roles. But at no point he felt frustrated. “I’m a very content person. I used to feel happy playing the role of a police officer in a daily soap for a week. I never felt like ‘what am I doing? I have never said no to any role. For me, art is secondary, survival is primary,” he shared.
When asked how he deal with the fame and the flood of attention and love that comes his way, Tripathi said, “No one used to know me in Goa 15 years ago and there is a possibility that no one will remember me 15 years later. So this brings you back on track that it is all false.”