Pankaj Tripathi: I prefer taking on powerless characters
Winning appreciation for his lawyer act in Criminal Justice, Pankaj Tripathi on why underdog roles attract him
Give him a seemingly small part and yet, Pankaj Tripathi, with his powerful act, will leave a strong impression. The actor has, once again, earned his place in the spotlight with his lawyer act in Hotstar's recently dropped original series, Criminal Justice.
It is the duality of lawyer Madhav Mishra that drew him to the role. "I always preferred to play powerless characters. Most people would ignore the watchman or the driver, but there's a story to tell in each of them. Mishra's character is layered; he has his own crisis to deal with — there is no love in his life, he is sick, and there's a constant internal conflict," says the actor, adding that the character's struggle mirrors his own in real life. "Until this point, it has been a struggle to make casting directors take notice of me."
While most artistes aspire to play the hero, the National Award-winning actor harbours no such dream. "Recently, I did two films as the lead, and I kept wondering what am I doing as the hero? In my mind, a hero is specifically someone who looks good, can dance well, and has girls swooning over him. I don't think I have those traits, and if I do it, I will look funny. I look for heroism beyond the hero. A common man has a lot of heroism in him."
Besides several Bollywood projects, Tripathi also has the Chris Hemsworth-starrer Dhaka in his kitty. Having wrapped up the shoot, he says Hollywood projects differ from Indian ones in terms of the prep. "International movies and shows spend a lot of time in pre-production. The entire unit knows the minute details of what is being shot on day one. So, the project begins with everything in place."
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