Character dhila nahi hai! Pankaj Tripathi on the term ‘character actor’


With content driven films defining new-age cinema, Pankaj Tripathi is evidently enjoying his time in the sun. In his kitty this year are 10 films, including Salman Khan-backed Kagaz, which will see him essay the role of a leading man. Tripathi doesn't take the term 'character actor' kindly. He jokes, "Toh leading man character nahin play karta?"
"Ten years ago, character actors would play stock roles, like a lawyer. But such large earned me roles like Madhav Mishra [from Criminal Justice], which was nuanced. To give credit where it's due, writers and directors are widening the horizons of story-writing. Every actor is pursuing [quality] characters over screen space," says Tripathi.
Ironic as it may seem, the importance given to character actors over superstars was a trend that kicked off when the latter decided to take the back seat. "It probably started with Aamir Khan in Dangal, in which he is not the hero. Or, likewise, with Shah Rukh Khan in Dear Zindagi. Today it is necessary to lift all characters, not just that of a hero. All I am hoping is to have fun in great films, regardless of who is paired with me or opposite me. As an actor, I get a lot of peace and a good night's sleep only when I feel gratified with my work. And, only once in a while do great films like 83 and Kagaz come your way. It's time for actors to pursue characters and not [chase] the tag of a leading man. There's enough and more room for everyone."

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