"There was a time when I used to keep my phone at a spot in my house where the possibility of a good network was the strongest so that I don't miss any call, but days used to pass without my phone ringing,” says Pankaj Tripathi in an interview. "Today, the situation is such that I cannot answer many calls. But I'm the same actor who struggled in Mumbai and waited for my phone to ring. I am still a villager who fell in love with acting” he continues. Let’s look at his journey and his best performances.
Growing up in a small village in Bihar, Tripathi would participate in local plays. The play ‘Andha Kuan’ in Patna, where he moved for his higher studies, inspired him a lot. Post that, he would cycle all the way to the theatre to watch plays for 3 years straight.
Pankaj was so fascinated with the thought of becoming an artist that he’d practice and do theatre all day and work in a hotel all night. He also joined National School Of Drama, Delhi and later moved to Mumbai with Rs.46,000.
Within a span of 3 months, he was left with only Rs.10. "I remember the date because it was my wife's birthday and I didn't even have the money to buy a cake or a gift.”
After waiting for 8 long years, doing small roles, he was offered ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ where he played the role of Sultan Qureshi, the butcher. The character that changed Tripathi’s life completely.
Soon after that, he was offered roles in the several films like ‘Fukrey’, 'Nil Battey Sannata‘, ‘Dabangg 2’, ‘Newton’, 'Bareilly Ki Barfi‘, and ‘Stree’ where he experimented with his characters and did an amazing job.
We’ve seen him take up the roles of a gangster, a Pandit, a cynical paramilitary office, liberal father, etc. He has received innumerable praises for his portrayal of these distinctive characters.
The actor is also praised a lot for giving his personal touch to characters like Lateef in 'Gunday', 'Sadhya Ji in Masaan' and Ruab in 'Manjhi' among other characters.
The actor has recently worked in a super-hit online series that has made him the most desirable actor of the time. He will next appear in Bollywood films like ‘Drive’, ‘Super 30’, and ‘Luka Chuppi’. Recently, he has also signed a Hollywood film titled ‘Dhaka’ with Chris Hemsworth aka Thor.
Pankaj still believes in taking up the most challenging roles and says, “I am an actor here but my approach is still that of a farmer. I've sowed the seeds, now I'm waiting for the plant to grow. I'm in no rush.”