Pankaj Kapur is an accomplished actor known for his iconic TV shows like Karamchand, Zabaan Sambhal Ke and Office Office. He is also known for his powerful performances in films like Maqbool, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla and his directorial venture Mausam. Now he is all set to make a comeback in films as an actor in the Vishal Bharadwaj directed film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. Sandeep Hattangadi caught up with the extremely talented actor for a freewheeling chat. Some excerpts.
What is ‘…Mandola’ all about?
Harphool Singh Mandola, the character that I am playing is this rich, flamboyant, gregarious and ambitious alcoholic who flirts with politics literally too unabashedly with a lady politician. I am also bent upon converting poor farmer’s lands into malls by conniving with the politicians and am an ‘in the face’ character whose two weaknesses are his daughter Bijlee played by Anushka Sharma and alcohol.
What made you accept this role?
I have always believed in the script as an actor since I feel that it is the script, which alone serves as a Bible for an actor, provides him with his inputs for his craft. The more you understand your script, the more shades you can see in your character which will help you interpret your role in a better way. It helped me while discussing the film with director Vishal Bharadwaj since he is also the writer of the film. Both of us came to a mutual ground and worked on the language. Vishal arranged for a consultant who gave me tips to speak my lines with a Haryanvi accent.
Were you on a sabbatical?
The reason I was not seen in any film for the last three years is because I was totally involved in the making of my own film Mausam with my son Shahid Kapur and Sonam Kapoor. There has been a gap also because I try to choose the best out of the offers that land in my lap. Ideally I’d love to be part of even four different films with different kinds of directors. I reject a film not just because I do not like the script. I may reject it because I do not feel comfortable with the director or the producer. At times I select one out of the 50 offers that I get and at times I may end up selecting one of the three that I get. If you care to remember, I did films like Dharam, Blue Umbrella, Sehar and Dus in just a span of a year and a half.