Divyendu Sharma made Bollywood debut with the hit film ‘Pyar Ka Punchnama’ and made a place in everyone’s heart with the character of Liquid. The versatile actor won hearts with another hit film, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ as Narayan Sharma. And followed it up and became a household name as Munna Tripathi from the popular web series Mirzapur. Divyendu allured the audiences with his dark side performing it effortlessly while trying to bring in all human emotions into the character. Here, he opens up about the series and his character. Excerpts from the interview:
What was the most challenging bit about playing Munna Tripathi?
It was to make him human and not to play him in a caricaturish manner or a cardboard figure. I was aware that he is a very dark soul, but I saw a lot of pain in him, it was like a painful soul as Munna Tripathi, so my biggest challenge was to make him human. No matter how dark this guy’s character, when he is in pain even the audience should be in pain. If not empathy for Munna, people should have sympathy for Munna.
And how different was it playing Munna Tripathi in season two?
When I first signed Mirzapur season one for this role, Munna Tripathi was a really author-backed character. This guy is so unpredictable and has many shades in his personality. But the kind of range the makers and, especially, the creator, Puneet Krishna, put in the writing of season two, specially in Munna’s character, is something that I didn’t expect. I was more than glad when I read it and it felt so complete as a character.
If you were Munna Tripathi, what would you have done differently in season two? What would have been your one advice to him this season?
I am not like Munna at all. I always felt he needed love when I read the script. When you see a guy who is so emotionally volatile, but at the same time vulnerable in certain situations, you understand that all he wants is someone’s love and to have a heart-to-heart conversation. I would have loved to have a such a conversation with him just tell him, ‘You are not a bad guy…you just don’t know how to express yourself in different situations. You only try to be comforted with love as much as possible.’
What was the most exciting/difficult scene for you in the second season?
The most difficult scene was when Munna consoles his wife after her father dies in an accident. I think that was the first time when Munna sees someone more vulnerable than himself. There were two choices: First one was, ‘I have also suffered so it’s absolutely fair if you are suffering.’ A lot of human beings think like that. The second option was: I have suffered enough so I will make sure that you do not suffer. I am glad Munna took the second option and tried to comfort her when he says, ‘Hum jante hai…hum perfect husband nahi hai. Lekin banne ki koshish jarur karenge.’ This was one of the most difficult scenes for me to do, because it was a very foreign feeling for Munna to have kindness towards another human being. The most exciting thing was the confrontation between Munna and Guddu when they see each other at the bar.
Are you still alive (in season three)? What are the chances of Munna Tripathi cheating death or maybe another double role?
Never say never. Let’s see how it plays out. I think makers have something in mind. I prefer remaining tight-lipped. Let’s see how it comes out. Double role, I don’t know.
How was the transition from the cute, funny guy to Munna Tripathi as an actor?
They had offered me Babloo’s character and then they thought I would suit Munna Tripathi better. That's how it all happened. It wasn’t a shift actually. You are an actor, you play the comic part, and then dark and intense parts too. It’s always difficult to play a comic part, because timing plays a vital role in a comedy. It wasn’t difficult for me. It’s for the filmmakers to imagine me as a dark and a serious guy. I am glad that Mirzapur gave me that opportunity.
If not Munna Tripathi, which other character would you have loved to play in the series?
I would have played the character of Ram Sharan Maurya that Amit Sial had played. Because that guy is fighting for the system. He is trying to nab these guys and bring a change. It takes a lot to be honest in today’s world so I have my respect for that.
What are your next projects?
‘Bichho ka khel’ is coming in Diwali. I play ‘ichcha dhari bichho’ in the film. Ekta brings in attractive stories. And then I have ‘Mere Desh ki Dharti’, which is a theatrical release. It reminds me of Manoj Kumar ji…I am doing a patriotic role in the true sense and not a fake patriotism which we see today. I teach new farming techniques to farmers in the movie.