After memorable performances in films like 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'Masaan' and 'Dilwale', Pankaj Tripathi feels he is finally at a stage where he can strike a balance between commercial Bollywood fares and independent cinema.
Pankaj Tripathi. Pic/Ajinkya Sawant
"Commercial films give you a wide exposure. For 'Dilwale', I got calls from countries like Oman. Its reach is huge.
Similarly, doing independent projects satisfy the actor in you. I want to balance such films with interesting roles in independent cinema," Pankaj told PTI in an interview. He is currently shooting with Rajkummar Rao for 'Newton'.
"'Newton' is a black comedy, a social satire. Amit Masurkar is directing the movie and Drishyam films is producing. Rajkummar Rao is in the movie. I am playing a very important character. It is a very interesting project," he said.
The actor is also starring in 'Nil Battey Sannata' and 'Life Biryani'. The movie, slated to release on April 22, has garnered praise from Aamir Khan, who called it "inspiring and uplifting".
In 'Nil Battey Sannata', Pankaj is in the role of a school principal. The movie, also starring Swara Bhaskar andRatna Pathak Shah, is about a maid's dream to give her daughter a good education even though the child rebels against it. The movie is a heartwarming story.
Pankaj says his role of a simple railway employee in "Masaan" is one of his favourite part as it was inspired by his father.
"'Masaan' was a small role but people connected with it. I loved playing a man who does not have many complexities in life. I was inspired by my father for this role. You find such characters in novel or in stories. You don't find such parts in movies where characters are either good, bad or grey."
Asked about his days of struggle, Pankaj says for close to a decade he kept running from one audition to another but 'Wasseypur' finally helped him establish as a performer and he is happy with the way his career has shaped up after the film.
"I am happy with my career. There are not many dilemmas in my life. I want to keep my equilibrium in this complex world. I am not running after a big house or a big car. I want those things but there is no desperation. Rather, I would love to find scripts that give me a chance to perform and are close to life."