Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur franchise was a breakout movie for a number of acclaimed actors including Pankaj Tripathic. His portrayal of Sultan Qureshi earned him high praise; but he almost didn’t get cast in the part because Anurag wanted another actor to play the part. Read also| Criminal Justice 3 Trailer: Pankaj Tripathi Returns to Face His Toughest Case
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was given the responsibility of finding actors for the crime-action film, recently recalled how it took him more than a year to find the 384 people to cast. He also remembered how he finally convinced Anurag Kashyap to get Pankaj Sultan to play.
Mukesh told Mashable India: “Anurag Kashyap also mentioned this once or twice. He wasn’t convinced about Pankaj Tripathi. He didn’t know who he is. Pankaj Tripathi and I were in NSD around the same time so I knew he was a great actor. I had seen him in plays. He (Anurag) wanted another actor, I won’t name the actor. I convinced him to audition for both.”
He added: “Pankaj was filming in South, but I called him to Bombay before that. We auditioned for him and the other actor one day in the exact same way. I gave the laptop with the recording to Anurag and left the room to ask him to tell me his decision. He said that this actor is very good and let’s give him Sultan.”
Aside from Pankaj Tripathi, the ensemble cast of Gangs of Wasseypur . included Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadha, Jaideep Ahlawat, Reema Sen, Piyush Mishra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vineet Kumar Singh, Huma Qureshi, Anurita Jha, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vipin Sharma, Jameel Khan and Yashpal Sharma among others. Both parts of the film were released in 2012.
Pankaj has since appeared in several films including Fukrey, Masaan, Newton, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Ludo and 83. He was last seen as Ganga Ram in Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga. He will soon be seen in the web series Criminal Justice: Adhura Sach.