Mumbai: Vinay Pathak is happy with the warmth and acceptance that character actors have started receiving from the audience and film industry but says the market is still driven by stars.
Pathak is known for his character roles in films like "Khosla Ka Ghosla", "Bheja Fry" and "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi".
"The box office doesn't work due to character actors, it runs because of the mainstream stars. There is a lot of money involved. They (producers) don't mind putting money in a film that has star as the film will have a huge opening, they are sure they will earn well," the actor told PTI.
Pathak insists he is "not discarding" the fact that "character actors take the film to another level with their great performance".
"New generation is evolved and they understand and appreciate an honest, diligent job. Thanks to digital platforms, the shelf life of all the films is longer today. The visibility of films has grown because of the internet. You crave and look for more substantial parts and better roles," he says.
Asked if having an image is the most dangerous thing in the film industry, he says everyone has an image. "Every actor gets slotted and it is not just in our industry, it is everywhere. Somehow people remember the tags and that is how you get recognised," he says.
For Pathak, it is never about the length of the role but the part has to be interesting enough for him to choose. "When I like something that is substantial I say yes to it, and if I do not like it, then I politely say no. For me, it has been great so far. But there have been times when I have worked on something that has not been exciting and it has taken a toll on me," he says.
"I am always on the lookout for newer stories and to collaborate with newer storytellers and exciting makers. To do a great job it is a challenge and is difficult. If it was easy then we would not be struggling to tell a story."
The "Bheja Fry" actor, who has been away from films, will be seen next in "Khajoor Pe Atke" that releases this Friday.
"You will see me more now in films as I have three-four things coming up. The script of 'Khajoor Pe Atke' is interesting, the characters are real, the situations are tragic so it looks funny. I like doing films that are close to reality," he says.