News Hindi

Pankaj Tripathi to play over-the-top Southern star in the biopic Shakeela


The actor doubted his own ability to carry off the role and admitted he was scared on the first day of the shoot.

Our Correspondent

Actor Pankaj Tripathi, best known for his realistic performances, will be seen portraying an unusual character in Shakeela, biopic of the South Indian soft-porn star of the same name from the 1990s.

Tripathi plays an over-the-top Southern star in the film directed by Indrajit Lankesh, which stars Richa Chadha in the title role.

“The actor will, for the first time, be seen as an overdramatic hero of the 1990s, an era when films were 'massy' and heroes were idolized because of their over-the-top styles," an official statement from the film's producers said.

"In the film, the Newton (2017) actor, who plays an actor-cum-producer, will be seen rocking not just outfits like bell-bottomed pants, multicoloured shirts and shoes but will take on the role of a rambunctious hero who is overconfident, talented and knows he will get the girl.”

Tripathi initially felt he would not be able to pull off the role. “When director Indrajit Lankesh narrated the story, I was asked to visit Bangalore, Karnataka, for the costume trial since the unit was from the South," Tripathi said in a statement.

"After reaching Bangalore and seeing the costumes, I was in two minds and questioned myself whether I would be able to carry off such a colourful dress.

"My character was supposed to behave larger than life, like a South Indian commercial hero. I am supposed to dance with the heroine. I was scared on the first day of the shoot!”

The actor was also required to dance with a young woman in a swimming pool, something he had never done before. But the results pleasantly surprised him.

“Normally I don't see the monitor after giving a shots," he said. "Later in the evening, when I checked one of the scenes, I was surprised to see how I had managed to pull off these shots dancing with the heroine in a swimming pool. It was quiet convincing for me and didn't look fake at all.”

Speaking about the experience of playing the character, Tripathi said, “It is an interesting role and it was fun playing the part. I really enjoyed the process from the second day onwards."

The actor said he had always wanted to dance on screen and he also got to perform some action scenes playing "the role of a superstar travelling in huge cars".

"My character is unpredictable in the film and the audience will be surprised to see me in the role the way I was surprised to see myself,” Tripathi promised.