After wowing the world with his cool-daddy act in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Pankaj Tripathi returns in a month to reprise his iconic character of Kaleen Bhaiyya in Mirzapur’s second season. Left at the delicious cliffhanger, the tentpole outing has Tripathi play the part of a menacing Mafioso. Tripathi, known for his stellar performances, fits into every shade of the character with impeccable ease. Long after the era of villains has gone, Tripathi has brought to the fore a layered villainous character everyone loves to loathe.
Tripathi tells us, “In our younger years, the idea of a villain was rather limited. It was obviously by virtue of how the stories played out, villainous was a little over the top in their tonality. With Mirzapur and Gurgaon earlier or even Sacred Games, I have been able to explore the dark side of the human psyche in greater depth. I choose the negative characters wisely. None of them should be similar and each of them should be distinctly different from the other. The motivation of each of these characters is starkly different. Kaleen is intoxicated by the power he commands so he operates out of protecting his self-worth. I am glad that writers are writing unique negative characters who do more than just have an ominous laugh. There are strong backstories, a character graph that defines why the man is a certain way. Long formats also allow you to delve deeper into these aspects. Kaleen doesn’t outrightly look villainous because you are familiarised with the many facets of the man. These are not traditional villainous parts but I am glad that these parts are 2.0 versions of Mogambos, Shakaals, and Gabbars of yesteryear.”