Last Updated : Feb 25, 2019 11:33 AM IST | Source:

Exclusive | Manoj Bajpayee gears up for Sonchiriya release, says ‘enjoying being really secure’

Coming months will see exciting releases for Manoj Bajpayee, such as Sonchiriya, Bhonsle and television series The Family Man.

Joginder Tuteja @tutejajoginder
Sonchiriya film poster (Image: Twitter/@BajpayeeManoj)
Sonchiriya film poster (Image: Twitter/@BajpayeeManoj)

Joginder Tuteja

Having been in the industry for over 25 years and having done a variety of roles across 70-odd films, Manoj Bajpayee -- who would soon turn 50 -- has definitely seen a lot. He was also honoured with the Padma Shri award recently.

Yet, Bajpayee feels that he has a lot more to learn and accomplish in the world of acting and it is not a case of ‘seen it and done all’.

"When you work with a director of the calibre of Abhishek Choubey, you just surrender to the kind of vision that he has and the way he wants to execute it. These are the filmmakers who bring in different kind of grammar in their narrative. I truly enjoy working in such highly challenging work environment," said Bajpayee who had an eventful 2018, with films as diverse as Satyameva Jayate, Baaghi 2, Aiyaary, Missing, Love Sonia and Gali Guleiyan.

It is the best time for him to be in the industry, as coming months will see some exciting releases such as Sonchiriya and Bhonsle to the television series The Family Man, about which he is excited already. Sonchiriya will release on March 1.

"Honestly, I am enjoying this time of being really secure," Bajpayee said with a glee on his face. “I can experiment the way I want to and filmmakers too are giving me so many different opportunities. Like last year, when Milap (Zaveri) brought to me Satyameva Jayate, I knew it was one 'masala' outing I had to be a part of. I am enjoying working in different genres because now Sonchiriya has taken me to Chambal no less," he added.

Bajpayee wished the same for his peers and contemporaries as well.

"I just hope and pray that each and every actor out there gains from this kind of position where he can just go and do anything and everything that excites him. There should be no boundaries," he said.

For the actor, who first made waves back in 1994 with Shekhar Kapoor's Bandit Queen, Bajpayee is happy that the government recognised his contribution.

"I had been actually hearing for the last three or four years that my name was being considered. Then last year suddenly it was all over on the social media that I would be getting this honour. So much of hullabaloo happened back then but the award did not come," Bajpayee recalled.

Asked if it was disheartening, Bajpayee said, "No, not really, it did not affect me much."

"See, you do not ask for any honour, you always earn an honour. That has been my stand right through. Now that it has come, I am thankful to the committee for considering my name. I take it as a huge honour. That said, the work will go on as usual. The search and the dream that I am chasing will continue to be on," he said.

Bajpayee also expressed happiness over his dream collaboration with his director Abhishek Choubey, who has films like Udta Punjab, Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya to his credit.

"I do feel that a country like ours need directors like Abhishek, or for that matter Anurag (Kashyap)," he opined.

"They know how to say new things and at the same time reach audience of every strata. They break the grammar of filmmaking and at the same time touch each and every person who is sitting in a theatre. I enjoy being a part of all kind of cinema, be it hardcore commercial, truly independent or middle of the read. I lend myself to do justice to the form, be it Aligarh, Rukh or Love Sonia. This, in true sense, is a form of great art," Bajpayee added.

Asked where Sonchiriya fits in, Bajpayee said on a confident note: "This one has a good commercial appeal to it. The story and the script is superb, while the performances of the other actors like Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana and Bhumi Pednekar are magnificent. You see Abhishek in a new form here as a storyteller."

Talking about new projects that he is planning to pick up, Bajpayee said: "Right now, I have stopped taking any work."

"I would start deciding about things only after four-five months. I want to take a step back and look at the offers coming my way. Last couple of years have been quite hectic and right now, I want to take a breather," he said.

(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic, and loves to talk and write about anything that is related to films. Views are personal)
First Published on Feb 25, 2019 11:32 am
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