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Monday, July 15th, 2024

Manoj Bajpayee- We have lost our way, if we want to bring people to the theatre, we will have to show their stories and heroes.

Manoj Bajpayee is currently in the news for the film ‘Bhaiya Ji’, which is releasing on May 24. Manoj said that now Bollywood needs to bring stories and heroes related to the soil. Manoj Bajpayee said that whatever Bollywood left, the same is now being made in South cinema.


  • Manoj Bajpayee is currently in the news for the film ‘Bhaiya Ji’, which is releasing on May 24.
  • Manoj said that now Bollywood needs to bring stories and heroes related to the soil.
  • Manoj Bajpayee said that whatever Bollywood left behind is now being made in South cinema.
Three decade long career in Bollywood, three National Awards and 100 films, such a wonderful journey would be no less than a beautiful dream for any artist, but Manoj Bajpayee, one of the best actors of the industry, has transformed this dream into reality. We had a special conversation with Manoj Bajpayee, who is seen on screen in a different avatar in his/her 100th film ‘Bhaiya Ji’:

Three decades long successful career in Bollywood, three National Awards and 100th film, how do you look at this journey of yours? And how satisfied are you with it?

I always feel satisfied because satisfaction comes from your work and the kind of films I chose, the films I worked in, there are very few that I missed. Otherwise most of the films were very good, it doesn’t matter whether they worked or not. The work in it has been done with great honesty and many of the films in it have gone a long way. This is a big thing for me too, because I had never seen such a big dream of doing 100 films and playing lead roles. Our only dream was to become a good actor and earn a living as an actor. This is a very unique incident for me. I myself cannot believe that I have reached this far.

You dreamed of becoming an actor after watching mainstream films like Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Zanjeer’. Then how did you get inclined towards content cinema?

I have always seen cinema as a medium of art. I never considered it just a medium of entertainment. For me, story is paramount. The job of art is to touch your sensibilities, to teach you something, to give you a new outlook towards life, so my choice of films has also been like this. After becoming a professional actor, it never occurred to me to be a part of the films that I had seen as entertainment in my childhood. When I was very young, sometimes such a thought used to come and because of my face and height, people used to tell me in advance that you are not fit for this and in our industry people do not even hesitate in saying this. It doesn’t take them even a minute to call you ugly. They will say that friend, you are not a conventional looking man. It means you are ugly. (laughs)


Photo: YouTube video grab

It is a strange tradition in Bollywood that here the hero and actor are different…

The thinking here has been different. Actually, our mainstream cinema follows a pattern. he/she sees a formula and follows it. he/she doesn’t know how to move away from her. You are not welcome in it because they have been making films with a specific type of hero, a specific type of heroine, and a specific type of decoration. I can say with certainty that if I had taken a film like ‘Bhaiya Ji’ to another producer, he/she would never have made it with me. Our director Apoorva Singh Karki said that I want only Manoj Bajpayee. Whereas, I knew that I would not find another producer. Even if he/she gets it, he/she will scare us and try to invest less money, which will affect the film. So my wife said that you should produce it yourself. We had so much faith in the story that we gave such a big shape to the film in a limited budget, which was not possible in the industry. You have to take your own conviction forward, but here the mainstream producers are not ready to take even the slightest risk.


A little ‘Pushpa’ style is also visible in ‘Bhaiya Ji’. What is the thinking behind this?

It would be wrong to call it ‘Pushpa’, such films have always been made in Telugu and Tamil. We also used to make such films. We stopped making those films. We stopped bringing our culture, our relationships, our heroes, our people in our films. Today people put action first and tell the story later. Put the song first, tell the story later. In our film it is the opposite. Story is paramount in our film. After that there is action or other things. Rest, we have to tell the story of our heartland, you cannot run away from it. If we want to bring people to the theatre, we will have to show their stories and their heroes. Now that time has come and the biggest proof of this is South Indian films. his/her hero walks in lungi. It comes from our own soil, our own culture. We used to make such films long ago. We have shown this path to everyone and have ourselves strayed from that path.

The shooting of your series ‘Family Man’ has also started. If you are so busy, how much are you able to play the role of a family man in your personal life?

I have been working for only four-five years now. When there was no OTT, I had very little good work. Since I was looking for great, unique work, I remained idle for a long time. Today, because of OTT, there is a lot of work, so for the next two years I am very busy, but when the work is coming, then why cry? This is a good problem which both I and my family are enjoying. Rest all, I make time for my wife and daughter.

Upma Singh

About the Author

Upma Singh

17 years of experience in journalism. Amar Ujala reached presswire18 Times after gathering experiences from Lucknow and Dainik Bhaskar Ludhiana. Currently working as Assistant Editor in NBT Mumbai. Cinema is love, passion and profession, so she has a deep grasp on subjects related to cinema and cinematic personalities. At the same time, she also writes a sharp pen on gender equality and women’s issues. For this she has also been honored with the Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity.… Read more

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