Was hesitant to make a shift to web at this age: Pankaj Kapur on his 'accidental OTT debut' JL50

By  
on  

Pankaj Kapur, who recently made his web debut with SONY LIV's JL50, admitted he was hesitant to venture into the digital space. He said he was at 'crossroads when he heard JL50 will release on web due to the COVID-19 pandemic'. 

On his series JL50 getting a web release, the actor said, "Recently, a lot of web series were offered to me but I kept rejecting them. I was hesitant to make a shift to a new medium at this age. But recently, I got to know that my film JL50 would be released as a web series because of Covid. I was at crossroads yet again–the whistles of a live audience would be replaced by binge watchers. But I’ve happily accepted that this is the future; that there won't be 100 crew members on set but a few talented people making it happen quickly. So, 50 films, 3 national awards, 74 plays & serials later, here I am playing Professor Das in JL50, who understands time travel. When in reality, I’m not tech savvy at all. In fact, today, I used headphones for the first time in my life to do this call–& I’m still struggling with it!”

Talking to a leading daily, he said, "I would call this my accidental OTT debut,"

Recommended Read: 'JL50' Review: Abhay Deol's, Pankaj Kapur's and Piyush Mishra's engaging time-travel tale lacks urgency

About hos journey in the film industry, he said, “While pursuing engineering, my passion for theatre grew. So, I told dad I wanted to pursue acting–‘Do you really want to be an actor or are you drawn to the glamour?,’ he asked. I convinced him of my passion & applied to film schools. FTII rejected me–meri shakal pasand nahi aayi! But I got into NSD & life as a theatre actor took off. 4 years later, the director of my theatre company said that auditions for ‘Gandhi’ were happening & I bagged it at 26–I played Gandhiji's 2nd secretary & also dubbed for Gandhiji's voice. But because of a misunderstanding, my company fired me."

"So, I had to somehow fend for myself. That’s when dad told me–‘Always make your own decision & stand by it’, & ‘You should work so hard that you’re the best in your profession.’ With those words, I left for Bombay. I didn’t have a godfather or ‘star-like’ qualities. But Om Puri connected me to Shyam Benegal–that was my big break. But I wasn’t earning enough–I had a family & didn’t even own a house. So, when I was offered Karamchand, I took it up & soon, became a household name! In the 80s, parallel cinema gained momentum. So I got back to films & won National awards for Maqbool & other films. It wasn’t one film that changed my life, but a series of decisions that brought out the best in me," he added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“While pursuing engineering, my passion for theatre grew. So, I told dad I wanted to pursue acting–‘Do you really want to be an actor or are you drawn to the glamour?,’ he asked. I convinced him of my passion & applied to film schools. FTII rejected me–meri shakal pasand nahi aayi! But I got into NSD & life as a theatre actor took off. 4 years later, the director of my theatre company said that auditions for ‘Gandhi’ were happening & I bagged it at 26–I played Gandhiji's 2nd secretary & also dubbed for Gandhiji's voice. But because of a misunderstanding, my company fired me. So, I had to somehow fend for myself. That’s when dad told me–‘Always make your own decision & stand by it’, & ‘You should work so hard that you’re the best in your profession.’ With those words, I left for Bombay. I didn’t have a godfather or ‘star-like’ qualities. But Om Puri connected me to Shyam Benegal–that was my big break. But I wasn’t earning enough–I had a family & didn’t even own a house. So, when I was offered Karamchand, I took it up & soon, became a household name! In the 80s, parallel cinema gained momentum. So I got back to films & won National awards for Maqbool & other films. It wasn’t one film that changed my life, but a series of decisions that brought out the best in me. Recently, a lot of web series were offered to me but I kept rejecting them. I was hesitant to make a shift to a new medium at this age. But recently, I got to know that my film JL50 would be released as a web series because of Covid. I was at crossroads yet again–the whistles of a live audience would be replaced by binge watchers. But I’ve happily accepted that this is the future; that there won't be 100 crew members on set but a few talented people making it happen quickly. So, 50 films, 3 national awards, 74 plays & serials later, here I am playing Professor Das in JL50, who understands time travel. When in reality, I’m not tech savvy at all. In fact, today, I used headphones for the first time in my life to do this call–& I’m still struggling with it!” -- @sonylivindia brings you the story of Pankaj Kapur–a veteran whose career has spanned from TV to film, to a sci-fi web series, JL50. Link in bio!

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

(Source: Humans Of Bombay/Mid Day) 

Recommended

Share