Time and again, actor Pankaj Tripathi has impressed the audience with his on screen choices and acting prowess. With the ability to portray any role — comic, intense, villainous — with equal finesse, he never fails to surprise. Giving credit to his choice of work for getting him into the limelight, right from Gangs of Wasseypur franchise (2012), Newton (2017), Stree (2018) to web series such as Mirzapur and Sacred Games 2, the actor says he consciously decided to not take up certain parts that would showcase fake masculinity.
“I will never sell the idea of fake masculinity through my work. I’m completely against portraying a man who is told that ‘kyun ladkiyon ki tarah ro raha hai or mard ko dard nahi hota’,” says Pankaj, before adding, “Even when it comes to playing a bad guy, I’m fine with it, but if you ask me to do a scene which involves child abuse, I’ll never do it no matter what money is offered to me.”
However, Pankaj is quick to clarify that he doesn’t mean at all that the character he’s portraying necessarily needs to look good and sound preachy. “Kahani mein kuch kirdaar bure bhi hote hai but one has to see what the intention behind showing a bad guy is. Sometimes, we do such parts to add satire. I’m silently working on the changes that I want to see in the society through the mode of entertainment. Going forward, I’d rather do a role where I’d get to showcase what it means to be a real man or a gentleman,” explains the actor.
Pankaj feels that the facade of fake masculinity that prevails in our society, needs to be broken and one needs to come out of the conditioning we’ve been brought up with. “Since childhood, we all have been told that ‘boys don’t cry’. Thus, every kid feels that crying is a girly thing to do and that’s wrong. Men, too, are human and we, too, feel like crying,” he says.
The actor further asserts that besides being a mode of entertainment, cinema also puts an onus on the storyteller to send out the right message. “Cinema ko entertainment ki tarah dekhna chahiye, kisi andolan ki tarah nahi, but somewhere the thought impacts the audience, which in turn creates a mindset — good or bad. So, I want to be a responsible entertainer who can seamlessly inject positive thoughts in people’s mind,” Pankaj concludes.