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Exclusive! Pankaj Tripathi: OTT has a huge contribution to the success of actors like me

Tripathi is back to win people's hearts with his character Madhav Mishra in Criminal Justice Adhura Sach. Stream the legal drama on Disney+ Hotstar.

Exclusive! Pankaj Tripathi: OTT has a huge contribution to the success of actors like me

Pankaj Tripathi/ Instagram

  • Sunidhi Prajapat

Last Updated: 06.43 AM, Aug 26, 2022

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Pankaj Tripathi is undoubtedly the most prolific actor in our country. Over a decade, the ace actor has proved to be one of the best performers through his versatility in acting by playing several kinds of roles in multiple films and shows. 

The terrific entertainer is back to play the fan favourite lawyer, Madhav Mishra in Criminal Justice Adhura Sach. In a candid chat with OTTplay, Tripathi shared his experience working on the latest series, his views about the OTT platforms, cancel culture in Bollywood and more. Excerpts:

Sir, you've come a long way with the show, how has your character, Madhav Mishra evolved over the span of three seasons?

He has his own journey in the story. The Madhav Mishra in season one used to be less confident, more greedy and more money-oriented. As the show progresses, he starts becoming empathetic. In the previous two cases (two seasons) he has evolved quite a lot, however, he still has his sarcasm, humour, wit and emotional quotient like before, but now he is even more experienced and evolved Madhav Mishra in this new case.

For the sake of creating multiple parts, filmmakers often end up making cliched continued stories in any kind of series. Are we going to witness something completely new in Criminal Justice Adhura Sach or it will be a continuation of the last season?

This new season is a tale of juvenile justice. We have made three seasons. The first one was on the male victim, the second one was on the female, while the latest one talks about the juvenile justice system.

So, all three sections of the justice system are apart from each other and the third season is our original story and not an adapted one like the last two instalments, which were based on shows by BBC UK.

Criminal Justice Adhura Sach is a new story, new world and new plot. Except for Madhav Mishra, all the main characters are new this time.

Out of the three, which season's story is your favourite and impacted you the most?

According to me and the whole team, the current season of Criminal Justice seems to be much more engaging, intriguing and the most challenging case for the protagonist.

Pankaj Sir, at an award show outside of India, you received a standing ovation for a couple of minutes and people say that it would have gone on for a few more minutes if you haven't started speaking. How do you react to this kind of love and adulation from your fans from a completely different part of the world?

I think this is the victory of those stories and characters that have reached the audiences' hearts through the screens.

I also stepped out of the country after a long period of time due to the lockdown. And that's when and how I realised how people love and admire me. I felt happy and grateful to witness so much love.

These days, as the release date approaches, boycott this film or that film starts trending on social media. How do you react to this forced cancel culture over theatrical releases? And if this continues for all the films, isn’t the future of watching movies in theatres look gloomy?

Honestly, I am not an expert to comment on this topic. Neither am I a specialist in the cinema trade nor I'm too active on social media. So I'm very sure about it, but yes, whatever is good, will definitely work among the audience.

Sir, today, plenty of people from the industry want to work with you, is there anyone in the industry (actor or filmmaker) that you wish to collaborate with and haven't got the chance to?

I haven't worked with Imtiaz Ali till now, rest I've collaborated with almost all the directors from my wishlist.

What were the dynamics between you and Shweta Basu? You both are lawyers this season but there is a certain age gap, so how conflicting was the thought process between the two of you?

We are going to have several conflicts as the two comes from two different parts of society. Shweta's character is a very posh and flamboyant attorney, who has studied from abroad, while Madhav Mishra is street smart. So the spat between the two is definitely interesting as they come from two different arenas. 

Also, there were some conflicts between Madhav Mishra and his newly married wife in the last season. How their relationship has evolved in this one?

Criminal Justice is quite intense and has a grey and dark shade to it. So, the track of Madhav and Ratna gives a certain kind of relief to the serious and tense storyline. It makes you smile amid chaos. 

This time Ratna's brother, played by Aatm Prakash, is also in the story, which brings comic relief in the midst of an edgy drama. 

Would you credit OTT for a part of your success and your acting journey?

Definitely. I said this during an event of OTTplay that if the digital platforms would have arrived earlier then my shop has already been opened (laughs). So yes, of course, OTT has a big contribution to the success of actors like me.

Please, tell us about your future projects.

Currently, our lips are sealed to speak anything about Mirzapur 3, meanwhile, the shooting schedules for OMG 2 are over and currently going on post-production.

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