Anurag Kashyap wasn’t sure about casting Pankaj Tripathi in Gangs of Wasseypur, wanted some other actor: Mukesh Chhabra

Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur franchise was a breakout film for a number of acclaimed actors, including Pankaj Tripathi. His portrayal of Sultan Qureshi got him a lot of praise; but he was almost not cast in the role as Anurag wanted some other actor to play the part. Also Read| Criminal Justice 3 trailer: Pankaj Tripathi returns to face his toughest case

Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was given the responsibility to find actors for the crime-action film, recently recalled how it took him over a year to find the 384 people he was asked to cast in it. He also recalled how he finally convinced Anurag Kashyap to let Pankaj play Sultan.

Mukesh told Mashable India, “Anurag Kashyap has 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 an amazing actor. I had seen him in plays. He (Anurag) wanted some other actor, I will not name the actor. I convinced him to audition both of them.”

He added, “Pankaj was shooting in South but I called him to Bombay for it. We spent one day auditioning him and the other actor in the exact same way. I gave the laptop with the recording to Anurag and left the room, asking him to tell me his decision. He said this actor is very good and let’s give him Sultan.”

Apart 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 then appeared in several films including Fukrey, Masaan, Newton, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Ludo, and 83 among others. 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.

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