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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Pankaj Tripathi shares his favorite moments as Kaleen Bhaiya and many more characters on IMDb Originals On The Scene


Jyothi Venkatesh

Known for playing offbeat and memorable characters on screen, Pankaj Tripathi, has always portrayed his roles with sheer ease and finesse. Following the successful release of Mirzapur Season 2 and prior to the launch of his upcoming film Ludo, the versatile actor gets candid with IMDb in the latest episode of IMDb On The Scene, fondly revisiting his favorite moments in Mirzapur while also deep diving into his upcoming Diwali release.

When asked if there has ever been a role that took a lot from him as a person, Pankaj Tripathi said, “Gurgaon (2017) was really difficult and even Guruji (Sacred Games) was tough. Artists have 2 tools, their personal experiences and the more important one, their imagination. These roles were tough because they were different from my life experiences and I had to imagine a lot. Acting is now a spiritual process for me. If you see me on the sets you might feel I’m goofing around and I’m not serious but at the same time my inner focus is always active.”

Pankaj Tripathi once said that for an actor, it’s important to internalize a character and then externalize. When asked about playing the role of Kaleen Bhaiya, which is a character close to his hometown Purvanchal, he said, “I genuinely enjoyed playing Kaleen Bhaiya. The way he handles people and especially his hypocrisy. So during the performance, I thought his hypocrisy is very entertaining.”

Revealing that one scene that stood out for him, Pankaj said, “I remember the scene where Kaleen Bhaiya meets the Chief Minister and Lalit is with him. I was really unwell during that scene. If you look closely you will see my face is swollen. I remember the humour of the scene and how Kaleen Bhaiya turns out to be so brutal by the end. There was also a scene where Kaleen Bhaiya along with Maqbool goes to the doctor and I remember I fell of the chair while reading the scene. It was too funny. We wanted it to be shot on a serious note so that audience can enjoy it.”

Talking about why he chose to do Mirzapur, Pankaj said, “I liked the writing when I heard it. I thought it was an interesting role. I enjoyed the first scene where Kaleen is built up. How this character is so powerful for the outsiders but falls weak in his personal life. OTT didn’t have that much significance back then but for me the platform never matters. The performance does.”

Sharing his experience with his upcoming project Ludo, he said, “Anurag Basu is my favorite director. The world he creates in his movies is really different. I haven’t watched many films. I think in total I must have watch around 50 films in my life. I think because of this I don’t have much of a reference point of cinema but only my real life experiences.” He further added, “During Ludo, we didn’t know the script at all. I enjoyed it immensely and I had surrendered myself completely to Dada (Anurag Basu).”

Talking about his favorite actor, Tripathi said, “I really liked Irrfan Khan and was very sad when we lost him and even today I am because he inspired me. I watched Maqbool, Warrior and all most all his films. I think he is the only Indian actors whose every film I’ve seen. I felt like he was doing something different and this is the impact acting should have.”