It was a usual sunny day but my heart was beating faster than usual. Probably the nervousness in me to interview someone as insanely talented as Manoj Bajpayee was the reason behind it. It was a big opportunity and there was no way I was going to let anything ruin it. After waiting for nearly an hour, I was asked to prepare myself for those crucial 15 minutes. And as Shah Rukh Khan once said 'Yeh sattar minute tumhe zindagi bhar yaad rahenge', (15 minutes in my case) I was determined to give my best shot. Was it really my best? I don't know but the fact that I interviewed Manoj Bajpayee can't be even. He was extremely soft-spoken and quite excited for his next project, Gali Guleiyan. He sportingly answered all our questions and queries and towards the end of it, I was clean bowled by his humbleness and honesty. Gali Guleiyan Movie Review: An Excellent Manoj Bajpayee Steers The Ship in This Slow Burn Psychological Drama.
From revealing the details about his role as Khuddoos in Gali Guleiyan to his debut in web series, this interview was a treat for an interviewer like me. Below is a small excerpt from the same for you to read.
Q - This year has been phenomenal for you. With so many releases like Aiyaary, Baaghi 2 and now Gali Guleiyan, how do you manage to work round the clock?
Manoj: (Laughs) This is what gives me high really. Going from one work to another, jumping from one genre to another, this is a fantastic achievement. From Aiyaary to Missing to Satyameva Jayate and now Gali Guleiyan, it requires a lot of preparation. And this is what I love. Surrendering to my director and surprising him with my performance gives me high. So yes, it's an exciting time and I am trying to use it as much as possible.
Q - Is it a conscious decision on your part as an actor to attempt different genres?
Manoj: I honestly feel you can only do it if your craft and skill set is ready. I have been working on it since many years, so finally it's paying off. You do a film like Rajneeti that's a multi-starrer and then a film like Gangs of Wasseypur, where you surrender to a director's vision and surprise him with your performance. This is what I like. Even a film like is Gali Guleiyan is very tough for an actor. But finally when your film and performance is talked about, admired, debated, discussed in foreign countries, you feel you are going in the right direction.
Q- Recently Anil Kapoor revealed he did Race 3 for purely monetary reasons. Do you feel it's right for an actor to do that?
Manoj: Why not? If someone is doing a film for monetary reasons, it is fantastic. At least he's clear about it. And Anil Kapoor is a very honest guy. He doesn't mix his words. So when he's saying it, you should really admire him. And if he's saying it right on your face, I will be the first one to stand and clap.
Q- Have you ever done any project for the same reason?
Manoj: Of course, I have. It's just that I won't name them.
Q - Tell us something about your web series?
Manoj: After Gali Gueliyan's release, I will leave to Leh Ledakh to shoot for a month. I am playing a simple middle-class intelligence officer who's trying to balance his demanding family and demanding job. The story has quirky humour, there are thrilling scenes and there's a lot of drama. He's a Benarasi man married to a South Indian woman. So there's lot of drama happening at his house and at his job. So it's going to be quite an experience for me.
Watch the remaining part of the interview below.
Manoj Bajpayee is touted as one of the unconventional actors of recent times. We appreciate his choice of films and the way he takes an effort to present something novel every time. With films like Gali Guleiyan and Love Sonia in his kitty, the actor is on a mission to compete with himself since no one else can ever stand in his way.