Manoj Bajpayee believes that nobody can play Om Puri better than him if a biopic on the late actor is ever made. “I think nobody can play Om-ji better than me because I knew him very closely. I came for his prayer meet but still I am smiling because if you remember him, you can’t be upset. He was such a joyful character. I remember him with loads of happiness,” said Manoj at a meet to pay tribute to Om Puri who died on January 6.
Bajpayee, who is often regarded as a method actor and known for his unconventional roles in films, said: “Om Puri ji was one of the reasons for doing the kind of acting I am known for. He helped us to conceive the dream... Those who come from small towns. He showed us that path and achieved the top (success) which we dreamt of.”
“His behaviour was same and even with everybody, whether the person was a spot boy or a millionaire,” Manoj recalled.
Asked whether the late actor had seen Manoj’s last film Aligarh, he said, “No, he didn’t. But I have no regret about it because he always talked about Aligarh and Budhia Singh to everybody. He was so busy socially that couldn’t make time.”
Manoj said he was always inspired by Om Puri. He said, “After I watched his film Aakrosh, I decided if I have to do work, it has to be like this. The path I chose in films is because of Om Puri. People say if you have to be a good actor, you have to be a good human being first. Whenever I lost faith in this saying, I met Om Puri and my faith regained.”