Mumbai: Actor Pankaj Tripathi says he was on the lookout for something exciting when actor-director Satish Kaushik offered him “Kaagaz”, a film which he instantly fell in love with. The film is based on the life of Bharat Lal aka Lal Bihari from Azamgarh, who fought a legal battle for 18 years to prove that he is alive.
During a virtual press conference at the trailer launch of “Kaagaz”, Tripathi said he was drawn to the world of Lal and it didn’t take him much time to understand his bizarre battle. “The moment he (Kaushik) narrated me the story, I was on board. I told him I’m ready with my dates, just let me know when should I come. As an actor, you’re on the lookout for scripts which make you feel like, ‘I deserve this story.’ I felt like that with ‘Kaagaz’. I grabbed the film before he could change his mind,” Tripathi told reporters.
Like Lal, who ran from pillar to post to contest official papers which declared him dead, the 44-year-old actor has had his share of struggle to get noticed in the industry which had largely overlooked him. Tripathi struggled for almost a decade before getting a breakthrough in “Gangs of Wasseypur” in 2012 and has since emerged as one of the most talked about stars, with winning performances in films and shows like, “Stree”, “Mirzapur”, “Sacred Games” and “Ludo”.
“I had to struggle a lot, which is part of the job. Till the time an actor’s identity isn’t established, he’s lost. Many people come to Mumbai with the dream of becoming an actor. “Till they don’t establish an identity, they keep at it. So there’s a fight to make an identity even in cinema. The story of ‘Kaagaz’ has a similar battle, that of existence. My struggle has been long but organic and fruitful. I’ve learnt how to live because of it,” he added.
Presented by superstar Salman Khan, the filmis set to premiere on ZEE5 on January 7.