In his career of over 15 years, Pankaj Tripathi has played many challenging parts but the character of mysterious Guruji in the second season of Sacred Games got the actor "scared". Guruji will play a pivotal role in unfolding a chain of events that shape the highly anticipated season two of the Netflix India Original, which was shot in India and overseas.
"For almost a week before the shoot, I isolated myself from everyone. My family got worried about what am I exactly preparing for. This was a challenging character and I was scared," Tripathi told reporters on Thursday.
"When you are scared, you start working harder. I am not a method actor, I don't cut off from the world but I had to shut myself off for this character and also shave my beard," he added.
The first season of the series was directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. It featured Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead.
The sophomore season of the show, based on author Vikram Chandra's novel of the same name, will pick up from Sartaj Singh (Khan) pursuing his relentless battle of saving Mumbai and Ganesh Gaitonde (Siddiqui) facing bigger challenges to retain his position as the legendary kingpin of the city.
Tripathi said the writing of the show was so on point that he didn't have to rely on any external crutches.
"The written material was excellent. When the text is good, an actor doesn't need anything else. I got clean shaven and shut myself off as there's this fear, because we have seen several babas (godmen) on screen and off screen and their influence is on us. But this character is different from what we have seen," he said.
Like season one, Kashyap is at the helm of the portions featuring Siddiqui, while Neeraj Ghaywan of "Masaan" fame will direct the scenes with Khan.
Motwane and Varun Grover return as the showrunner and the lead writer, respectively for the show which starts steaming from August 15.