Pankaj Dheer became popular as Karan after essaying the mythological character in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat. So much was the craze for the show that people claim the country roads looked deserted as they would during a curfew. Not just Pankaj Dheer, but every actor associated to the show became a nationwide sensation.
Now, as Mahabharat reruns on television sets amid the lockdown, Pankaj Dheer is all nostalgic about the show and his part in it.
Citing the fact that that there were no references for him to act his part of Karan, Dheer says that what ever he did to play Karan was out of his own understanding of the craft of acting. “We did not have any reference for Karna. There was just one film that was made on Mahabharat which was a 2-hour film in which a very inconsequential actor played Karna. So, how would Karna walk, talk or sit was something we did not know? How would he deal with a situation? So, all these things were discovered by me as an actor using my intellect. Not to forget that I had two very dramatic characters next to me which were Duryodhan and Shakuni. Between them, even if I would be melodramatic, it would be odd. So, I had to underplay the role of Karna. I played it in a massive restraint which worked for me. People loved me for it. That created sympathy.”
Pankaj Dheer has made a rather shocking revelation that has left us dumbfounded and yet in awe of the actor’s skills. Speaking to ZEE News in the same interview, the actor said that his performance was so touching as Karan that there are temples in parts of India that actually worship him as Karan from Mahabharat. Yes, you read that guys!
Pankaj Dheer has revealed, “People have loved me and adored me over the years. It goes to show that I have merited it. Even in the history books of school, if they have a reference to Karna, they have my picture there. So, as long as these books will be printed in school, I will always be their reference as Karna. I also have two temples where there is Puja done every day. I am worshipped there in Karna mandir. I have been to those temples. One is in Karnal and one is in Bastar. There is an eight-feet tall statue of mine, and people come there and worship it. When I go there, people love me from the bottom of their hearts. This goes to show that they have accepted me as Karna. This becomes very difficult for others to play that role again. I have been offered a lot of roles in other versions of Mahabharat, but I refused it. I have played Karna and that is it for me. It is not about money. I can make money otherwise. But I don’t want to confuse my fans. It won’t be justice to my fans.”
Well, that certainly is a feat that every actor would crave to achieve during their career!