Monday, March 4, 2024

‘Kadak Singh has only 1% of the ‘Pankaj Tripathi’ essence in it’

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Coming up with an entirely different character, National Award-winning actor Pankaj Tripathi is coming up with Kadak Singh on December 8 on zee 5. Ahead of its release, the actor, who is all excited for the project, gets candid with The Pioneer sharing some interesting insights about the film and more.
Tejal Sinha
Never a dull moment every time he’s on screen, Pankaj Tripathi makes sure to create a lasting impact on the viewers with his essence. Basically, one thing that unites all of  his films, and series throughout the years: they have all featured a wide range of genres and characters. But there’s for sure a pinch of ‘Pankaj Tripathi’ element within. And so did we thought,  it would be in his upcoming project, Kadak Singh on Zee 5, on December 8. At least that’s what it seemed like through its trailer. Isn’t it?
But that’s not the case this time! Because this time we gotta see him going slightly away from his comfort zone. “Aap sab sunayega, which you see in the trailer, is the only element you will see of ‘Pankaj Tripathi’, and that’s just 1 %. Apart from that, there’s nothing that you’ll get to see of how it’s been in my previous films. Luckily, that is something that has been put up in the trailer. There are two sets in this film, and one of them has a  light reference touch of me for the audience, so they don’t feel it’s someone else. But then, altogether, it’s a new story, a new character, and a very interesting film.”
So, that’s an obvious thing that we are going to see him in a never-seen-before character. And so does he feel, “This is an experiment that Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury made me do. This story was written by the producer, Viraf Sarkari 8 years back. He had it in his mind for 2-3 years that no one else would play the character so I am grateful that he thought of me.”
During our exclusive chat with the Mimi actor, he also revealed that it was during the quarantine that he read the script. In fact, he read the script in the night, and the next morning itself, he called the team to inform them that he’d be doing the film. Well, this also shows his dedication towards the art, and following the path of how people know him as an actor.
But with a whole different project and character—an experiment—was there any hesitation? We wondered. And he gleefully answers, “No, not at all. I loved the story and would connect with a story only then. The USP in this story was that I’d get to experiment. I’m not an actor who would not at all fear experimenting, and never think that this is not in my comfort zone or not anything of my image. For actors like us, there’s complete freedom to experiment without fear and the result of that is amazing. And so has it been with Kadak Singh.”
Kadak Singh delves deep into the enigmatic world of retrograde amnesia, intricately portrayed through its protagonist’s journey. This central theme propels the character into a vortex of disjointed recollections and obscured realities. Talking to us about it, he reveals, “This medical term is used in just a couple of scenes. The entire story is based on this man; Kadak Singh (aka AK Srivastava), if he’ll be able to recall or not, there seems no chance for it. And with all the chaos, how will the puzzle be solved is a big question. Some parts of his past have been faded away from his mind. Like in the trailer, you get to see how his daughter comes, and he’s like, ‘I don’t have a daughter’ and she’s like, ‘I’m your daughter’. You can just not imagine a human drama where a dad does not remember having a daughter and what the daughter would be going through when her father is not able to recognise her.” The actor who shares that he is not a ‘Kadak’ person in real-life, further goes on to recall how for a while his father couldn’t recognise him: “I remember 6 months back, I had gone to my village and my dad in Bhojpuri asked, ‘Hai ke ha?’ (who is this). I was like, I’m Pankaj, your son, and he was like Acha acha woh Bombay waale film waale (Oh that Bombay film guy). So he was able to recall a bit. But at that moment, mere paun ke tale zameen ghisak gayi (I was utterly dumbfounded). And I recalled that moment, and thought that the entire story is based on a somewhat similar situation. How much human drama can you even put into a situation where a father cannot recognise his daughter? This is a very interesting plot, and if, in the middle of seeing the movie, you end up reading even two WhatsApp messages, you’ll have to come back and watch the film from the beginning. This film also needs the audience to pay attention.”
An overwhelmed, twice-a-time National Award-winning actor who feels privileged to get the National Award from our president shares, “I’ve always kept all my awards very nicely. My dad used to really get proud. In fact, there was a time when we used to do theatres and Manoj (Manoj Bajpayee) used to get awards; we used to think, ‘Yaar humae kabhi milega kya award?’ (Will we ever get an award?) So for me, its like how you say a ‘dream come true’.”
In fact, during the ceremony, fortunately, he got to meet Waheeda Rehman. And an extremely excited Pankaj Tripathi says, “I got to have lunch with her. She told me that she really liked me, and I was really shocked. Arey Waheeda ji Mujhe jaanti hai (Waheeda ji knows me). I told her that I really loved her film, Teesri Kasam, which I saw 3-4 times, and I was speaking about it. Then there’s a Satyajit Ray film called Abhijan. I have watched very few films, and out of those, were  the films that I saw of her and I became a really big fan of her. And I was glad I got to meet her.”
As we headed towards the end of this interesting tête-à-tête, we were really keen to know about the love he receives, irrespective of his low profile. He signs off the chat on a brighter note, saying, “I just try to show the people of my fraternity that iske bina bhi acting ho sakti hai (Acting can be done even without this) (welaugh). I’m a very private person and after my work, I do not want to be seen anywhere, and just go directly to my house and live my life. But then again this is a part of films, where you have to go to your own film screening. Mujhe bass aisa hai ki kaam karro aur gayab hojao (I just want to work and disappear.)”
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