New Delhi: ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ released on OTT, the film starring Pankaj Tripathi, playing the character of Janhvi’s father, is getting much praise. But now Pankaj Tripathi has told why he has chosen acting as a career. Yes! In an interview given to news website WION, Pankaj Tripathi has talked about his career, nepotism and other things in a quite frank manner.
Question: You have said many times that you enjoy comedy more than any other genre. Why is it like this?
Pankaj Tripathi: We take life seriously these days. There are many inspiring books around us, so almost everyone has become a philosopher, all are very serious in life. These books keep telling you to dream big to achieve something in life but I honestly think that sometimes we should slow down everything. Just eat comfortably and sleep peacefully. I do not take myself seriously, I take work seriously. EMI has ruined all of us – people who have taken loans, have the stress to repay it, while those who do not have approved loans are under stress to get it.
Question: Where do you get this comic from?
Pankaj Tripathi: I have done theatre. I read books on satire from all over the world. Most do not know, but I am deeply involved in absurd ideas. It is a gift of books. There is a lot of humour in society. I am an actor who spent more than half of his life travelling by train. I have seen this word a lot. I have sat and discussed life with people of all kinds of ideas.
Question: Are you excited about your latest film ‘Gunjan Saxena’?
Pankaj Tripathi: I am excited about the reaction of the audience to the film because it is a good film, an important film. Otherwise, I am not very excited about anything in life.
Question: You play the role of a father in ‘Gunjan Saxena’. How similar are you to that character in real life?
Pankaj Tripathi: This character is very close to my real life. Here I am in the role of a father. To play other characters, I use my skills, I act but ‘Gunjan Saxena’ has very little acting because I had to play myself here.
Question: I think ‘Gunjan Saxena’ is related to the subtle message of sexism which is a big part of our society. As a father, how should a girl be raised differently from a boy?
Pankaj Tripathi: There should be no difference between son and daughter. As an actor connected to my audience, I want to tell this thing through the stories of which I am a part. And I try to do this in an entertaining way so that they do not feel that I am trying to impart knowledge. Good stories are those that entertain you by giving you a message.
Question: Where do you stand in the OTT versus theatre debate?
Pankaj Tripathi: I don’t know anything about the business of cinema. I work in films but physically and mentally stay away from the industry. But I would like to point out that OTT offers individual viewing, while theatres inspire a group to watch together and these are two different experiences. The fun of watching a movie with a group is not in person. The joy of watching a movie with 200 odd strangers is a different attraction. Cinema halls break class and social bonds. To watch the film, laughing and crying at scenes with a complete group of strangers is a different experience, but the individual scene is also important. I think both have different significance.
Question: Which medium do you like for your films?
Pankaj Tripathi: I love acting and it happens before the release of the film. This happens in front of the camera while shooting. As an actor, I enjoy the process of filmmaking. Once the film is released, whether it is a hit or a miss. Well, it is a secret that as an artist, one enjoys the process of filmmaking. I enjoy eating, travelling. Acting is what I love, I can think of actors all day, but it’s business – I am not worried.