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You can’t blame the audience for having bracketed him as Mr Goody-Two-Shoes, given his roles in Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011) and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017). But Divyenndu threw a curveball with his latest outing, Mirzapur, which sees him as the hot-headed, power-hungry gangster Munna Tripathi. He terms the decision as “a natural progression”.

“Mirzapur gave me the chance to be someone else and explore an entirely different character,” says Divyenndu, enjoying the appreciation that’s coming his way.

While the universe of the Gurmmeet Singh-directed venture is filled with gore and goons, Divyenndu’s Munna stands out with his all-black and amoral persona. Ask him if it is difficult to play a dark character, and he says, “Munna is the most author-backed character in the show. Yet, to make a dark character look convincing, you have to turn on a few switches inside you. You have to force yourself to think negative, believe that you own the world and that no one else matters. It was difficult for me to come out of Munna.”

The Amazon Prime show marks his web debut. Though he agrees that the medium allows artistes to be “brave”, he is quick to argue its flipside. “People can be brave in the digital space because your fate is not decided on a Friday. It offers a longer shelf life to a show. But, it’s a difficult medium because you are on the same platform as Game of Thrones and Fargo.” Question why he wasn’t seen in the subsequent outings of Punchnama series, and he says, “It was my decision to not continue. Luv Ranjan [director] was supportive of my call.”