Favoritism in industry makes you question your craft: Pankaj Jhaa
(Sourced from PTI)
Actor Pankaj Jhaa is thrilled with the response coming his way for his work on the latest series Maharani as he believes this success is a result of his hardwork of over a decade. Headlined by Huma Qureshi, the political drama has been created by filmmaker Subhash Kapoor. The series started streaming on SonyLIV last month.
Pankaj, who plays a minister on the show, equated the acclaim for his part in Maharani with winning a "big prize," after a string of appearances on shows like Balika Vadhu and Kyunki Jeena Isi ka Naam Hai. "The success of Maharani has empowered me, reinstated the hope that people might see my work and offer me more interesting parts," the 35-year-old actor said.
"I wasn't expecting this response. I hope this makes people see my craft," he said. Pankaj said the spotlight on him is hard-earned and has validated his struggle. Born in Bihar to a conservative family, his family was not entirely supportive of his acting dreams. Pankaj started doing theater in Delhi and credits theater director Dilip Shankar for spotting and nurturing his craft.
"I realize today, why actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Bajpayee took so much time to achieve the stardom they have today. It's a long journey. The process of scanning actors in the film industry is not transparent. Favoritism is common in the industry," Jhaa said.
Pankaj said it has often happened with him that despite a good audition, he was sidelined because the makers wanted to go for a more "known face." "It takes 12-15 years just to prove that you're a good actor. When this happens, of course, you question yourself, the system, its process. It's frustrating... But I don't have any regrets," he added.
Maharani happened to Pankaj at a time when he had no work. While the process to look out for exciting roles was on, he hit a roadblock last year when the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown was announced.
Three months after lockdown, Pankaj, along with his wife, moved back to his village Araria. "I didn't have any work, so I started shooting videos, recording a podcast to keep myself busy. When I got the call for the show around August, I taped my audition and forgot about it. Two months later, I was informed that my audition has been selected," Pankaj said.
Pankaj also recalled being "extremely nervous" before the shoot. "I'm grateful for the opportunity," he added. Next, Pankaj has filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane's Netflix series Stardust and director Madhur Bhandarkar's film, India Lockdown.