Interview By: Aakansha Shakhewar

We catch up with Pankaj Tripathi, Rasika Dugal and Divyendu Sharma for a chat for their recent crime drama series ‘Mirzapur’ for Amazon Prime Video Originals. We discuss with them about their journey of ‘Mirzapur’ and insights of the show amidst much more…

Some actors are a type-cast, if you have done a character twice or thrice. What’s your take on that?

Divyendu-Now that I have done this character it is not difficult but that’s a human nature that we want to be fed with what’s on the table and not interested in cooking anything better or different again. Here I mean food is a character. People would eat what’s there already and not cook something new. No one wants to really work hard. Actors are not related to this, the makers should actually see the actor’s true potential and not according to the role that is done by the actor in the past but give him a new opportunity to portray himself.

How difficult was it for you to do such a bold role?

Divyendu – It was not difficult at all. I was waiting for a role like Munna Tripathi since a very long time and I am happy to play it. The script was good, so were the co-actors and Amazon is such a big platform also the whole team worked as a whole and that is how it was easy to work with. It was fun overall and difficult in the sense of I have to do my role properly I should not fumble up my character.

Pankaj do you think censorship should be there on digital platforms?

There are certain limits and the limits shouldn’t be crossed. The guidelines are to be followed thoroughly. There are certain dialogues where use of cuss words is kind of a necessity and that’s when the dialogue is understood well. There is thin line between vulgarity and sexuality. I have said no to certain scenes for some of the projects I have worked with because what is the purpose of the scene, some scenes can be done without using cuss words too there no  need of always use abusive language and get done with scenes also, I did not say no for any scenes in ‘Mirzapur.’

Rasika- I think in any creative process there should not be any censorship and the audience watching is smart enough to understand why are certain words and action used due to the need of the script and for entertaining purpose only. Makers will put only things that are required by the script. I don’t think any outside body should be telling anybody about what is to be done and how is it to be done. This is my point of view but the people who believe in hierarchy may not subscribe to the series but this is their point of view.

Mirzapur is not the place that entertains violence in the way it is portrayed in the series. Why is Mirzapur the name of the series?

Pankaj- Mirazpur is a poetic place. Semi classical singing – Kajri was born in Uttar Pradesh and is very famous today. Kajipur as name for the series might have been more suitable looking at the story of the series. Maybe makers liked the name Mirzapur and finalised it. It’s not our call anyway to select the name. It is makers who make the final call. I am even aware that Mirzapur is not known for crimes but at the same time just using the name of the town won’t spoil the name of the town just because of the storyline of the series. The story is all fictional and not based on real life characters.

Rasika what is the reason behind you doing the series?

I think series format is what I found interesting. The script gives you enough time to warm yourself up induce yourself into the character. It’s like writing 5 films. I think there are many parallel tracks. At times there is no lead track as there are many track and each track is important. Content wise series are more interesting since last year i have done two series and they both were good at their own level. I don’t think characters are strong or weak, they should be well return.

If ‘Mirzapur’ was a movie do you think it might have received the same amount of appreciation?

Pankaj– The format of the story is a series format. It is not a two hour story it is a five hour story. The content was written by keeping the platform in mind.  

Divyendu- Each character has various parts and it would have been really difficult to show it in a movie in such less amount of time.

Rasika we have seen the boldness in your character and also dialogues. How difficult was it for you to do the scenes?

I don’t think it is bold. We call it bold because such scenes are usually not written for women; in reality this is a normal life lived by a person. We call it bold because people are still taboo and they don’t entertain such roles on screenand that is on main reason why this is called as bold scene or character. I think we run away from such conversations, especially when it comes to women and her sex life. They are treated like people who don’t have any desires and we are very shy to talk about sex openly. I used to do a shows before ‘The Vagina Women’ where we used to speak about woman’s sexuality and how women feel about it and ladies used to come backstage and cry and say no one has ever spoken about this to us or nor have we got any chance and we don’t understand the good and bad about the situations because we are not allowed to openly speak about it. Today also went you women and sex in one sentence it is still taboo you see three more necks turning to you just because you said women and sex in one sentence. I think there is a need to normalise it.

What is next in the pipeline for the three of you?

Divyendu- ‘Assi Nabe Pure So’ is an upcoming movie which is in final stages but will be out soon. Other things you will come to know really soon.

Pankaj-‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Huee Hai’, ‘Lukka Chhupi’, ‘Criminal Justice’ a web series also. ‘Kagaj’  is a movie coming too. I am so much into that movie since 40 days that I have forgotten everything around me.

Rasika- Hamid and one commercial movie I can’t talk about it right now.

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