June 22, 2024


Manoj Bajpayee needs no introduction. The actor has been entertaining the masses for decades on both the big screen and via digital offerings. The actor – who will soon be seen alongside Prachi Desai in Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout, has delivered memorable performances in films like Satya, Kaun, Shool, Raajneeti, Special 26, Aligarh, Bhonsle and more.

During an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Bubble recently, the senior actor got candid about several things including his hunger for good roles. Manoj also spoke at length about the ups and downs of career and how he went from facing rejections and being offered mediocre roles to now being a much-sought after star.

Manoj Bajpayee on craving good projects

On being asked if his hunger for good role has decreased given the impressive roles he has played in reacent time, Manoj Baypayee said, “What do you think? I have much more cravings than the younger actors. I’m much greedier than them about good roles. I don’t like it if a great role goes to some other actor. I don’t like it, I want all of those roles coming to me. So, the cravings for good roles, for good films and good performances, I don’t think it is going to die down. I may in future, in a few years my body may not allow it, that’s a different thing.  But till then, ye bhookh hai ki mitati nahi. Yeh kabhi nahi mithne wali bhookh hai. (The hunger never dies. It’s an everlasting hunger.)”

On his career

While talking about being a high-in-demand actor today but facing several rejections at the start of his career, Manoj said, “Mere career na bada kamaal raha hai. Main pehla theatre karta tha, (fir) Mumbai aaya. Uske baad kaam nahi milta tha, bhukhe rehte the, chotti si chawl mein rehte the. Fir uske baad Satya mili. Fir bahut saari offers aane lagi – saare offers villain ke hote the, saare offers ko na bola. ” (My career is very interesting. After doing theatre I came to Mumbai. Here I initially didn’t get work, was hungry alot and lived in a chawl. After some time I got Satya. This was followed by me receiving several offers to play a villain but I rejected them all.)

Manoj Bajpayee added, “Fir saal mein ek film karta tha. Pure duniya yeh samaj rahi thi ki Manoj Bajpayee bahut bada star hai. Uska pass bada ghar ho gaya hoga. Bahut paise honge. But log yeh nahi dhek rahe the ki main ek film karta tha. Toh saal mein ek film Kaun, dusre saal mein ek film Shool. Teesre saal mein ek film Zubeidaa, fir Aks… Toh main itna zyada apne aap ko bacha raha tha woh saare cheeze karne se joh main karna nahi chahta tha. Uske baad lagatar career aacha chala tha. (I then started doing 1 film a year but people assumed I had become a big star, had a huge house and was rich. They didn’t realize I was doing only 1 film. I was actually trying to keep myself away from doing mediocre projects I otherwise wouldn’t do. During this phase my career was stable.)

The actor further stated, “Fir uske baad damadol ho gaya, fir aap seedhe raste pe aa gaye. Fir wapis uthaya apne aap ko, 6.5-7 saal lage usme. Fir uske baad Raajneeti aani shuri hui. Special 26, Gangs of Wasseypur… dheere dheere things started looking good. Fir uske baad thoda lull aaya. Fir The Family Man aagaya. Toh my life has been such.” (However, it didn’t last forever. It took me 6.5-7 years to get back up. Then I got Rajneeti, Special 26 and Gangs of Wasseypur, and things got better. But then there was a dip before The Family Man came my way. That’s my life.)

He continued, “I’m saying this without any attachment, what has been very constant that I was very clear is that I have loads of patience. Jitna patience ek tiger mein nahi hoga shikar ke liye, utna patience mere andar hai aache role ke liye. Main wait karta rehta hu, main logo ko phone karta hu. Main directors ke kaam dhekte rehta hu. Naye directors jaise YouTube pe dhikhega, short film dhekhega, usse phone karta hu – you have anything interesting? Come to me.” (How much patience a tiger doesn’t have while hunting, I have that much patience. I wait for projects and make calls to know if there’s anything. I monitor the work of different directors and if I see someone new, I call them to come and meet me.)

Manoj Bajpayee added, “So I’m always looking out for interesting stuff… Interesting directors. Exciting scripts. The scripts and the directors people are not aware of, not familiar with… That is why all three of my films last year – Gulmohar, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai and Joram, are fairly new (concepts). Even The Family Man – Raj and DK, I knew that they are hugely talented people but they were not finding that taste of success. And just then we found this script of The Family Man and today, Raj and DK ke pass mere liye time nahi hai. (Now they do not have time for me)”

Watch Manoj Baypayee and Prachi Desai’s full interview here:

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Rajpal Yadav is extremely grateful with Kaam Chalu Hai premiering at Cannes Film Festival, recalls sustaining many injuries to deliver believable performances


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