National Award-winning actor Pankaj Tripathi, known for his performance in critically acclaimed films, says he cannot treat himself like a "brand" because he is not a "product".
"I think in an era of capitalism, branding plays an important role... So more than how good you are as a performer, what matters is how big a brand are you. I cannot become a brand because I am an actor... I am not a product," Pankaj told IANS in an interview.
The "Newton" actor added: "We make a product in a factory that is same in colour, size, features and we make a brand around it. All actors are unique... Different from each other... How can I act similar to another just because it is 'in', it is ‘trend'? Then am I not a product like a box coming from a particular company?"
Having started his career in 2004, Pankaj has appeared in successful films like "Gurgaon", the "Gangs of Wasseypur" series, "Bareilly Ki Barfi", "Harjeeta" and recently released "Kaala".
Asked about what makes him keep at it despite all the tough times he had to face to establish himself as a known name in the world of Hindi cinema, Pankaj said: "Look, I come from a very humble background where I did not grow up in luxury. I had to earn everything, every facility that I have today.
"So there was no shortcut I was introduced to from the beginning of my journey. I know everything happens with time. Perhaps that is why I never gave up in the beginning when I went through a tough time."
He said demotivation never seeped in.
"I do not get demotivated because I believe that humans cannot be a failure... We are not a machine. Tomorrow a mobile phone can stop working, which means it can fail, but a human? No, we can fail if and only when we are not doing our self-assessment right," said the widely lauded actor, who also featured in "Masaan" and "Gurgaon".
As for the future, he wants to be remembered for the quality of work."You know how people trend on social media and suddenly become popular? You do not recall them after 10 years. I do not want to be popular. I'd rather want to be remembered as a good actor in the history of Indian cinema."