'Acting makes me feel alive'
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Pankaj Kapur talks about playing an alcoholic in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, being impressed by co-stars Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma and why he is so selective with his roles
Though Pankaj Kapur has been a part of the Hindi film industry for 30 years, his zest for acting has not diminished with time. The actor, who has delivered memorable performances in television serials like Karamchand, Office Office as well as films like Ek Doctor Ki Maut, made a directorial debut with Mausam in 2011. Though, he proclaims, "Acting is my first love. When I act, I feel alive!"
Now, Kapur gears up for Vishal Bhardwaj's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola that sees him play one of the most flamboyant roles in his career — that of an affluent villager who is also an alcoholic. Kapur divulges, "My character, Mandola, is a boisterous man who belongs to a village but has ambitions of buying land and converting them into shopping malls. Therefore, he flirts around with the politician in the film to reach his goal. On the other hand, he loves his daughter (Anushka Sharma) and his man Friday (Imran Khan) who is highly educated. While he is a ruthless businessman, when he is under the influence of alcohol, he is the most fun loving, childish and an endearing human being. This is the interesting contrast in my character. The film is a social drama, full of spice and humour." Though, he clearly states, "The humour is not slapstick, it is slightly dark where you can read between the lines. This film is attuned to today's times but at the same time, it is not frivolous."
Even for an actor who has been a part of more than 40 films, playing an alcoholic was no cakewalk. He says, "I am a teetotaler, so playing an extreme case of alcoholic was quite a challenge. Though, I took references from my observations over the years where I have come across friends and acquaintances who enjoy their drinks." Interestingly, Kapur was also required to dance, enact underwater sequences as well as hang in mid-air for a parachute sequence. "These were tedious sequences but you have to go through them as an actor. Though, it was an enjoyable experience, especially dancing with my co-stars Imran and Anushka."
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