Pankaj Tripathi on why he played Gangaram in Srijit Mukherji's Sherdil, which releases tomorrow

Directed by Srijit Mukherji, Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is a social satire inspired by true incidents

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  23rd June 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  23rd June 2022 12:00 AM

Pankaj Tripathi and Srijit Mukherji in Kolkata

Apart from being a part of such great commercial successes as Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and 83, veteran actor Pankaj Tripathi makes sure to act in some films that also speak for the voiceless in the society, whose pressing issues mostly remain unheard. And that's what made him say yes to filmmaker Srijit Mukherji's Hindi movie Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga, which is slated for release tomorrow -- a provoking film told with dollops of dark humour.

A social satire, Sherdil is inspired by actual events of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, where the local poor villagers used to abandon their invalid elderly members for the tiger to prey on in lieu of some compensation from the administration.

Pankaj Tripathi in Kolkata
Pankaj Tripathi in Kolkata

This film will see Pankaj playing Gangaram, a village head who attempts to save his poverty-stricken family by falling back to the jungle and at the cost of sacrificing his own life. "I immediately said yes when Srijit approached me with the engaging script. Srijit lent the film a satirical tone to make the film relatable to a much wider audience," tells Tripathi, who visited Kolkata for the film's promotion.

Pankaj Tripathi and Srijit Mukherji in Kolkata
Pankaj Tripathi and Srijit Mukherji in Kolkata enjoying Phuchkas

Elaborating on his role further, Tripathi adds, "Gangaram will have a great impact on the audience. I didn't have to do much with my physical appearance except for not shaving for a few weeks. I initially attempted to lose a few kilos but then realised that's unnecessary since the forest itself is such a huge canvas that any man would look negligible in comparison to its size. The way Gangaram is prepared to sacrifice his life, I can't make such a sacrifice ever, even for cinema, which is my passion. Cinema is a part of my life and a way to earn a comfortable living so that I can pursue other hobbies including travelling and discovering the vast, beautiful world," he signs off.

Pankaj will also be seen in Oh My God! 2, Fukrey 3, and will soon begin to shoot for Mirzapur season 3. He is also set to star in a very interesting character in Golkonda Tales, an original series for Amazon Prime.

To know more about Tripathi's future work and interests, keep your eyes on a detailed interview in Indulge's July 1 print edition