Times when Pankaj Tripathi effortlessly executed top-notch performances onscreen
Pankaj Tripathi is one of the most natural performers in the industry today. While the actor had to struggle long to reach where he is now, his cinematic journey from 2004's Run to 2021's Mimi has been exemplary. Be it a menacingly cold gangster or a family clown, the 44-year-old has championed all sorts of roles. Here's a compilation of his most memorable ones.
It was 2012's Gangs of Wasseypur that brought the limelight on Tripathi as he deserved. Essaying the role of butcher/henchman Sultan Qureshi in the Anurag Kashyap-directorial, Tripathi's eyes spoke, his mannerism was magnetic, and his determination to kill Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) demanded admiration. When asked what was the hardest part, Tripathi had mentioned shooting most of his scenes in an actual slaughterhouse!
Reflective of real society, most Bollywood fathers play orthodox restrictive characters but Tripathi's Anup Saxena in Sharan Sharma-directed Netflix release Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is a different one. When Tripathi schools his son to discipline him for being a sexist prick or when he exercises daily with Gunjan to make sure she gets in the Indian Air Force, we all believed it wholeheartedly.
Although Tripathi is perfectly capable of shining even in small roles, the Amazon Prime Video series Mirzapur gave him the wide space to spread his wings. His flair and control as the warlord Kaleen Bhaiya was dangerously beautiful. An immensely popular debut season was followed by a second one last year and now Tripathi will return in the upcoming third season as well.
Tripathi was a crucial part of Amit V Masurkar's political satire Newton. He played a CRPF officer who reigns in or at least tries to reign in Newton (Rajkummar Rao) and his idealistic attempts. This performance brought him a Special Mention at the 65th National Film Awards. Newton won the National Award for Best Hindi Film that year and was our official Oscars entry.