MUMBAI: He has been acting in Bollywood for 14 years now but it was in the last couple of years that Pankaj Tripathi finally tasted success and the actor says the new found fame is good but is nothing more than an "illusion".
Since making his debut in "Run" in 2004, Tripathi has acted in many films and has received critical acclaim for his performance in movies such as "Apaharan", "Omkara", "Gangs of Wasseypur" series and "Nil Battey Sanaata".
And by doing author-backed roles in mainstream hits like "Dabangg 2", "Fukrey", "Gunday", "Singham Returns", "Bareilly ki Barfi" and "Fukrey Returns", he also won audiences' hearts.
In an interview with PTI, Tripathi spoke about new-found fame, how the success changed the outlook of industry people towards him, the increasing number of offers and his priorities in life.
"Fame is nice but it is also an illusion. May be, it won't be there 10 years later. I won't lose my mind now that I have fame, nor will I lose myself once it goes away.
"I am a Sufi guy, so, fame is maya for me, a worldly illusion. I just need good scripts, good films and I am glad I am doing them," he says.
The same mindset, coupled with patience, kept him going in the initial years of his career when he had to make peace with minuscule roles in films.
"I come from the family of farmers. I am a son of a farmer. When we sow seeds we wait for six months. All we can do is give it a favourable condition to flourish, save it from the storm. So patience is inherent in me. I never had a problem with the waiting period. I was never disappointed, never thought of giving up even once."
The actor further says that even though it took him nearly 13-14 years to reach where he is today, he is happy that people have acknowledged his work.
"It was meant to happen this way," Tripathi says the industry today has confidence in him that he will deliver a great performance and changed the perception towards him.
"The perception of the industry has changed tremendously. I have now been offered 30-35 scripts, every second director wants to work with me. They have started to take me more seriously as an actor."
The actor says what makes him most happy about these offers is that they are a mix of both commercial and independent movies.
"Directors are looking at me like, 'he can not only do acting but can also give entertaining performances'. The fraternity now thinks I can be sensible and entertain with my acting and not be boring in the name of art," he said.
More scripts, however, also mean he has to turn down a lot of offers, which he feels is difficult to do.
"If there are no dates what can one do? I try and tell them politely that I just can't do it."
Looking back at his work, it may appear that acting is all that he intends to do, but for Tripathi it is not the only driving force of his life.
"I have always kept my film career secondary. My priority is family and travel. I am basically a traveller, I love it the most," he says.