The entertainment industry is growing each day and no wonder why directors and other people involved in movies are looking for the best actors. It’s quite difficult to make an entry in Bollywood if you are not born with a silver spoon in your mouth and not belong to a family that is connected with the film industry. Yet, talent never fails, and thus, there are actors in the industry who have completely made it on their own, to the stardom of Bollywood and its fame. One of such actors is Pankaj Tripathi. Pankaj is known for his excellence in acting and portraying even the most difficult roles with ease. But, his story is not exactly the way we think it is.
We have some facts about Pankaj Tripathi that you would surely want to know about!
1. Pankaj Tripathi was born on September 5, 1976, and raised in a village named Belsand in Gopalganj district, in the state of Bihar.
His father name is Pandit Benaras Tripathi and that of mother is Hemwanti Devi. Pankaj was the youngest of two brothers and two sisters.
2. He helped his father in farming until he was in standard 11
As he belonged to a family involved in agriculture. In an interview Pankaj remembers:
“I remember my father took a loan of Rs 5000 from a cooperative bank to buy a small five-horsepower tubewell pump. A certain part of it, which cost around Rs 500, was easily detachable. Thieves could steal it easily. To save that Rs 500, my father and I would have dinner early and reach the farm by 8 pm. Every day we would sleep near the tubewell to save Rs. 500.”
3. He used to took part in the village’s natak and played the role of a girl
During annual festival celebration in his village Pankaj used to take part in village’s natak and received appreciation from villagers which initiated his interest in acting and made acting his passion.
4. Manoj Bajpayee effect in his life
Across one of the river near his village in Gopalganj, there is the village of Manoj Bajpayee (Champaran). When Satya released people in village used to talk a lot about Manoj. Then Pankaj felt that if someone from neighboring village can go, become an actor, then he can also do it.
5. His father wanted him to become a doctor, so Pankaj set off for Patna after high school
He also did theatre and was quite active in college politics.
6. Jailed once for seven days
During college politics he was part of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and during 1993 was jailed to raise voice against the state government which was then ruled by Lalu Prasad Yadav. He had entered politics with a vision to do good for the society but was disillusioned soon.
7. Laxam Narayan Rai’s play, Andha Kuan came as a turning point in his life
In an interview he says:
“My life completely changed. The actress, Pranita Jaiswal, had a powerful monologue. Listening to that, I started to cry. That was when I realised what a powerful medium drama is. I had never experienced such a thing before in my life.”
8. Joined Bihar Art Theatre for two years
And also started watching theatre for two years. The actor recalls,
“I took a 3 am train from my village to Patna every month. I used to bring rice, dal, and mustard oil from my village which I carried on my shoulder in a jute sack. Using these ingredients, I cooked and ate khichdi for the entire year.”
9. Took hotel management course at Food Craft Institute in Patna
And later worked as a kitchen supervisor in nightshift in Maurya Hotel, Patna.
10. Rejected by National School of Drama twice
In the third attempt Pankaj made it to National School of Drama, from where he graduated in 2004. Reminiscing his selection in NSD, he says,
“I distinctly remember the rain falling on my tinned roof on a July noon. While I sat in my room, looking out of the window at the rain, a postman arrived in a raincoat. He came to me with a white envelope with the NSD logo. I realised that I had got through NSD this time. I started crying.”
11. Returned to Patna after graduating from NSD
He performed in plays to earn money
12. On 15th January 2004, Pankaj got married Mridula who was then a professor
They both have a daughter. In an interview when asked about how he met his wife, Pankaj gets candid and said,
“My sister was getting married, but the in-laws wanted to make a toilet before she started living there. This was much before Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. My friend had gone to their village to oversee the construction. He saw a girl there, came back and told me about her. He said she is beautiful, she walks like a doe. I heard all that praise and was lost. Around 11 years later we got married. We were seeing each other from 1993 to 2004. During that time, I went to the drama school. It was a different kind of time because there were no cell phones and we couldn’t write letters in case anyone in the house opened them. When I went to NSD, there was a phone there and she had a landline in her house. We decided that every day at 7.30 am and 8 pm, we’ll talk to each other. That went on for some time.”
13. Moved to Mumbai after several calls from his friend Bhanu Uday
Bhanu was Pankaj’s friend from NSD. He reached Mumbai with Rs 46,000 and his wife took teaching in school.
14. Did a role in the movie ‘Run’ in 2004 for which he was not given any credits
15. Pankaj was also seen in Omkara, as Kichlu
He also appeared in a lot of other movies in this span, like Apaharan (2005), Dharam (2007), Mithya (2008), Shaurya (2008), Chintu Ji (2008), etc.
16. In 2008, he got an opportunity to work in the television series, called Bahubali
And then, in a show called Powder (2010) that aired on Sony TV.
17. In 2012, eight years after he came to Mumbai, he gave an audition for the Gangs of Wasseypur and it went on for eight long hours
Eventually, he got the role and was widely praised. Gangs of Wasseypur gave him a new identity.
18. During his early struggle in the film industry, he became synonymous with gangster characters as he mostly played negative roles
19. After his performance in Gangs of Wasseypur, and it’s sequel, a lot of offers were made to him
Some of the movies he accepted were Dabanng 2 (2012), ABCD: Any Body Can Dance (2013), Rangrezz (2013), Fukrey (2013), Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa (2013), and a lot more.
20. At the National Film Awards 2018, Pankaj Tripathi’s name was taken in the special mentions for his excellent performance in the movie ‘Newton’
21. His movie ‘Newton’ made its entry for the Academy Award in best foreign film category
22. Apart from showcasing his best performances in the movies, he also came back to television series
He was a part of the cast of Sarojini – Ek Nayi Pehel on ZeeTV and the mind-blowing show, Sacred Games a Netflix’s original show.
23. But even after playing so many different roles his favorite movies as an actor remains ‘Masaan’
Where he was seen playing the character of ‘Satya Ji’.
24. Pankaj Tripathi first film as a lead actor was Gurgaon which was released in 2017
25. Pankaj was also seen alongside the superstar Rajinikanth in the Tamil movie ‘Kaala’, 2018
Despite being one of the self-made a successful actor in Bollywood life hasn’t changed much for him. Pankaj still visits his village every 6 months and walks to the nearest shop to buy vegetables. He says he feels proud when his 11-year-old daughter, Aashi plays with the cattle and enjoys.