Pankaj Jha reveals losing Gangs of Wasseypur role to Pankaj Tripathi: A tale of missed opportunity

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 05, 2024 IST

Mumbai, June 5: Renowned for his portrayal of the conniving Vidhayak Ji in TVF's Panchayat series, Pankaj Jha recently opened up about a missed opportunity that could have reshaped his career trajectory. In an interview with Digital Commentary, Jha disclosed how he was initially approached for the role of Sultan Qureshi in Anurag Kashyap's acclaimed Gangs of Wasseypur but ultimately lost it to Pankaj Tripathi.


Gangs of Wasseypur, hailed as one of Anurag Kashyap's directorial masterpieces, garnered widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. However, amidst its success lies a tale of unfulfilled promises and missed chances.


Sultan Qureshi, a notable character in the Gangs of Wasseypur saga, was originally earmarked for Pankaj Jha. Having previously collaborated with Kashyap on projects like Gulaal and Black Friday, Jha seemed a natural fit for the role. However, fate took a different turn, as Pankaj Tripathi was eventually cast in the pivotal role, marking a rupture in the actor-director duo's partnership.


Reflecting on the incident, the 47-year-old actor revealed that he received the offer while on a shoot in Patna. Assured by Kashyap of the role, Jha pledged to return within two days. However, upon his return, he found Tripathi had been cast as Sultan Qureshi, shattering his hopes and expectations.


When questioned about the perceived 'filmy politics' behind his exclusion, Jha remained unperturbed, asserting that dwelling on such matters would only empower the 'backstabbers.' Despite acknowledging the potential impact the role could have had on his career, Jha maintained his stance of contentment, opting not to dwell on what could have been.


Describing himself as a 'director-making actor,' Jha emphasized the symbiotic relationship between actors and directors, citing films like Satya and Gulaal as platforms that not only shape actors but also elevate directors. However, amidst the disappointment, Jha harbors no ill will towards Kashyap, affirming his continued admiration and respect for the filmmaker.


An alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), Pankaj Jha's journey in the entertainment industry has been marked by noteworthy performances in films such as Monsoon Wedding, Company, Matrubhoomi, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, and Anwar.


Despite the setback, Jha remains undeterred, continuing to carve his niche in the industry. Recently, he made headlines by accusing Pankaj Tripathi of glamorizing his struggles and allegedly appropriating another actor's accomplishments, signaling that beneath the glitz and glamour lies a fiercely competitive world where every opportunity is fiercely contested.




  • Pankaj Tripathi

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