Critically acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee won his first National award for the film “Satya” and since then has worked in a number of films where some worked well but some went unnoticed. However, Manoj says that these slumps don’t bother him until it starts effecting his bank balance.
Present at the first edition of the Literature, Information, Film, Frame, TV and Theatre (LIFFT) India Filmotsav 2017 World Cine Fest, here on Monday for an impromptu discussion on his journey in the film industry, Manoj shed light on his take on the concept of highs and lows he has experienced in the film industry since the time he shifted to Mumbai after “Bandit Queen” in 1994.
“Lows bother me when I see my bank balance reducing. Other than that, it really doesn’t bother me. If you are seeking for someone else’s approval that is your low, if you are not, then that is your high,” said Manoj at the festival which will conclude on Tuesday.
“When I was a child, I kept this dream of becoming an actor close to my heart, I think that was the training that happened in my childhood that I was not seeking the approval of anybody in that village in the family.
“The dream was mine and I chased it, I am still chasing it and I will keep on chasing it,” added the 48-year-old actor.
After his legendary performance as Bhiku Mahatre in “Satya”, Manoj worked in films which went unnoticed like “Kaun”, “Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar” and “Hanan” among others.
He says the roles that he played were his own choice and it was a well thought out decision as opposed to some beliefs that he made “wrong” decisions.
“I knew that I would not be able to sustain that euphoria from ‘Satya’. Because my choices are going to be very different and very risky. The choices after that were very risky. Sometimes I wanted to be in the flow, sometimes I wanted to be completely experimental,” said Manoj, who will next be seen in “Love Sonia” and “Aiyaari”.
“I was very sure… No mainstream actor wanted to touch the role of Prince Victor in ‘Zubeidaa’ . I was chosen to do that role. It was a complete risky proposal for me. I went with the thought that the Bhiku Mahatre kind of euphoria may or may not happen. It is very difficult when you are choosing a path which is completely unconventional and not mainstream. They were all very well thought out kind of roles by Manoj Bajpayee.”
“Some worked and some did not. I always say that I made my career out of flop films,” he added.
LIFFT India Filmotsav 2017 is a five day festival which started on September 1.
Besides films, the fest includes conversations with filmmakers, actors, discussions, Asolo plays, booking readings and more.
(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of LIFFT India Filmotsav 2017. Kishori Sud can be contacted at kishori. [email protected])