If Imran Khan was scared to work with Pankaj Kapoor in "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola", he was also bowled over by the senior actor's focus and dedication. He says that despite playing a wide range of roles, the veteran treats each new project as his first movie.
"His (Pankaj) focus and dedication are remarkable to see. The way he sits and rehearses his lines and practices his scenes are very inspiring," Imran told IANS in an interview.
Even after spending over two decades in front of the camera, the "Maqbool" and "Dharm" actor Pankaj still "works as a struggler, someone who has got his first assignment. It is very inspiring to see someone like him, who is such an accomplished actor, still he works in a way that he has got his career's first break," Imran added.
Director Vishal Bhardwaj has cast Pankaj as flamboyant Mandola in "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola", which is set in Haryana. It releases Friday.
"He might be looking very flamboyant and playing a larger than life and powerful character in the film, but in real life he is a very quiet human being. It (the role) is an exact opposite of his personality," said Imran, who also plays a Haryanvi guy Matru in movie about land scam.
A teetotaller in real life, Pankaj plays "a very heavy drinker in the film", said the 29-year-old and added: "So it is a complete departure."
Imran admits being "scared" to work with Pankaj.
"He is a living legend and a superb actor. One might hold a perception that an actor of his stature would be arrogant, but look at his body of work. Unless you see him face to face, you won't understand how good is his art and craft as an actor," said the actor, who made his debut in 2008 with "Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na"
"Actors usually get a lot of support from music and editing, bur when you see Pankajji performing live, without editing and background, he is really something to watch for," he added.