While it's true that every story needs a protagonist, no story is complete without its group of supporting characters who help take the story forward.
In Bollywood's long history, certain actors have portrayed these supporting characters with such brilliance that at times they've even overshadowed the lead. And one such actor is Kumud Mishra.
Kumud Mishra recently portrayed the role of Taapsee Pannu's father in the social-drama Thappad. With Thappad, Mishra showcased how, sometimes, expressions can speak volumes.
He was every bit the overprotective father, and yet, at the same time, patient and understanding of his daughter's wishes. This dichotomy has rarely, if ever, been employed with such excellence by a similar character or actor in the past.
But this is just one example of Mishra's wide range of work. Mishra is a theater actor with over 30 movies under his belt. In most of these movies, he has played a supporting role with minimal screen presence. And yet, it is impossible to forget his diverse characters.
From the affable and wise canteen owner Khatana in Rockstar (undoubtedly one of his most famous roles) to the concerned government official Sanjeev Kohli in Airlift, to the conflicted Sub Inspector Jatav in Article 15, Kumud Mishra's screen presence could just not be ignored.
What sets Kumud Mishra apart is the authenticity he brings to his roles, no matter how varied or far removed from his personal life. Whether he is playing a stern father and coach (in Sultan) or an affectionate brother (in Jawaani Jaaneman), Kumud Mishra completely moulds himself to the character. And in doing so, he makes each character memorable in its own right.
An alumnus of the National School of Drama, Mishra started his acting career with the 1995 Doordarshan show Swabhimaan. However, it was his role in Rockstar that got him the much-deserved attention from the film fraternity
But, as he revealed in an interview with DNA, it did not earn him the fame that lead actors enjoy.
I thought acting in Rockstar would make me a star but no one even recognizes me. When the movie released I went and stood outside the cinema for three days thinking people would come and congratulate me but they just ignored me.
While widespread fame may have eluded Mishra, his wide range of work includes short films, blockbuster hits, and critically acclaimed plays. He will next be seen in Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi.
Clearly, for Mishra, it is not the length of the role but its contribution to the story that counts. And going by his filmography, it is fair to say that every role he plays significantly contributes to the story, and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.