Meet Panchayat Fame Banrakas who worked in Soft Porn during struggle days

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Panchayat has emerged as a refreshing show in the Indian OTT space, amidst a sea of action-packed and gangster dramas. This slice-of-life dramedy has captivated audiences with its relatable storytelling. While the lead actors, Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, and Raghubir Yadav, have received well-deserved acclaim, the supporting cast has also garnered praise. Among these unsung heroes is Durgesh Kumar, who has risen to stardom through his portrayal of Bhushan, an intriguing antagonist in Panchayat.

Introduced in the second season, Bhushan quickly became a fan favorite due to his idiosyncrasies and witty one-liners. However, Durgesh Kumar’s journey to achieving this level of fame has been far from easy. Hailing from Darbhanga, he completed his schooling and later moved to Delhi, where he taught at a school while honing his theatrical skills at the prestigious National School of Drama. After making the leap to Mumbai, he made his acting debut with a small role in the film Highway. Although he secured minor roles in a few films over the following years, this period was marked by immense struggle. Durgesh recalls facing rejection in every audition he attended during a nine-year span from 2013 to 2022. “Casting directors acknowledged my talent but felt my auditions weren’t hitting the mark,” the actor shared.

During this challenging phase, Durgesh found himself compelled to accept a role in a soft porn film solely for financial reasons, as he had no other work opportunities. He explained, “I cannot live without acting, so I took up whatever work came my way because I had confidence in my abilities.”

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It was during the pandemic that Durgesh finally found a breakthrough. He was cast as Bhushan in the second season of Panchayat, a role that has since grown to almost main cast-status in the third season. The actor expresses his happiness about the diversification of opportunities in the OTT industry, stating, “We are now receiving work, which is a significant achievement. Otherwise, where would we fit in? The action genre shows rarely consider us. With comedy, at least we get these chances, and it feels really good.” Durgesh has also played supporting roles in recently released films such as Laapataa Ladies and Bhakshak.

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