Pankaj Berry has spent over 30 years in the TV industry and has seen how exponentially the industry has changed in the past few years. An actor who was the part of some path breaking TV show including ‘Sanjha Chulha’, ‘Junoon’, ‘Swabhimaan’, ‘Gul Gulshan Gulfaam’, ‘Tamas’ and ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, feels proud that he belongs to the golden era of TV industry when everything was about giving the right message to the viewers through entertainment.
“The TV industry has changed drastically. Today it is more about ‘uski sari meri sari se safed kyu hai (how come her sari is brighter than my sari). I always believe that TV is about showing entertainment without missing the aspect of spreading the right message and this was very much prevalent in the Golden period of the industry. Somehow, we lost track midway and now it is more about just entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment,” he told Opoyi.
However, he has no regrets.
“Sensible and intelligent people change with time and I did the same and accepted the changing trend of the industry. If I will go against the tide, I have to sit at home and I can’t do that because I am a complete workaholic,” said Berry, whose latest show is ‘Tenali Rama’ in which his role as Tathacharya has been widely appreciated.
“I am truly lucky that I was the part of the golden period of the Indian TV industry and I am thankful to God that I am working since then,” he added.
Sharing his journey in TV industry, he had a fulfilling career and he will continue to keep the energy alive with his next projects.
‘ I did many TV shows and people remember all of them. I worked with the finest directors like with Govind Nihalani in ‘Tamas’ or with Shyam Benegel in ‘Bharat ek Khoj’ . Now ‘Tenali Rama’ has again made me so popular that I will never forget,” he said.
From being part of some of the remarkable shows of Doordarshan to now being the part of DTH, how his belief as an actor has changed over the years?
“I think an actor remains an actor whether he is from 1956 or 1993 or 2020. My work is to live the character that I am playing. My theatre worked helped me a lot too as I was the first gold medalist from the department of Indian theatres,” he said.
In one of his old interviews, Berry said that some of the actors nowadays are not serious. Elaborating more on this, he told Opoyi, “I believe that acting can both be the easiest or toughest job for you. However, for me it was the toughest job as with every new character, you are living a new life therefore it is important to take the training. I don’t consider acting as a hobby, it’s my bread and butter. I remember while doing theatres, I never thought I will come to Mumbai but eventually, I analyzed , realized, and then finalized that I have to join film industry,” he said.
“To become an actor, you need to have certain kind of qualifications. You can’t just decide to become an actor by just looking at your face in the mirror. When I started, there were lot of struggles because of limited options but now with multiple mediums, it’s easy to get work but you need to have a certain kind of maturity to live up to your role and for that, you need have proper training,” said the 58-year-old.
He also says that in the age and time when everything is fast-paced and people are rushing, he practices one thing that helps him stay calm.
“I sit alone for half an hour once a week and I talk to myself looking at the mirror. I analyze that where am I going wrong and then I work on that,” he said.
Now that “Tenali Rama” has wrapped up and his character will remain in the minds of his fans forever, what next is he working on- is OTT next on cards?
“I will do it. In fact, I got some great offers too. However, I would like to do neat and clean shows and there needs to be something that people will remember forever,” he said.
“The character of Tathacharya will remain in my heart and I have to say that as an actor, this role gave me re-birth because young generation didn’t know who am I but this show made me popular among kids too and I want to maintain that with my next projects too,” he wrapped up.