Veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor, who was part of trendsetting shows like Karamchand, says that he consciously moved away from television about a decade ago because the medium was changing and that working in films is far more satisfying.
"About eight to nine years back, I decided not to do television actively because I felt the face of television was changing and someone like me would not be able to relate to the kind of work that is done today," Pankaj said.
"Also, I felt that it was straining and tiring because you had long hours of work and whatever you did was lost in 20 minutes," he added.
A movie, on the other hand, gives an actor ample time to work on his character, says the 58-year-old, who has been a part of shows like Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Office Office and Mohandas B.A.L.L.B., besides Karamchand.
"Your work as an actor (in TV) is almost as much as you do for any film. Films are made... within lesser hours and you get more time to research and work on your character. It is a lot more satisfying experience because whether the film does well or not, at some point it will be seen by various people in various kinds of medium," he said.
Nevertheless, he is still open to small screen projects.
"I am open to the medium of TV as an actor, though not with the kind of face television has right now. But if there is something which is different in which the director and actor are given the independence that is required, then I will do it.
"If worst comes to worst and it becomes a matter of survival, I am being very honest about it, I might have to look into it," said the actor, whose directorial debut Mausam failed to evoke the expected box-office response.
Asked if he would like to revive any of his old TV series, Pankaj said: "I don't like repeating what I have done before, so it depends... If I am not doing anything and the script has really something nice and juicy and has a challenge for me, then I might consider it."
Versatility is something he would like to maintain throughout his career.
"Even at this stage of my life, I am looking at doing more roles and different parts where I can create different people. My goal as an actor is to create different people and to interpret them for my audiences," he said.
The repertoire of Pankaj, a National School of Drama alumnus, includes successful plays, films and TV shows. He will next be seen in Vishal Bhardwaj's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, in which he has kept up his reputation of giving the audience something new every time.
The movie, featuring young talents like Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma, will hit the screens Jan 11, 2013.
(Uma Ramasubramanian can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)