No matter what role actor Manoj Bajpayee takes up, he makes them memorable — be it Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) or Siras in Aligarh (2015). However, the actor, who is known for his impeccable acting skills was rejected by his alma mater National School of Drama (NSD) not once, not twice, but thrice!
“Yes, everyone knows I got rejected thrice by NSD before I finally made the cut here. But, NSD is not the only place where I faced rejection, it happened in Mumbai, too. I have been rejected so many times by so many people in the film city, that I have lost the count. But with every rejection, my willpower gets stronger. I feel that dismissal should not become the determining point of your graph. In fact, it should become a motivating force that inspires one to work harder.”
The Ramjas college graduate adds, “My DNA is such that with rejections I only get stronger and my personality gets better. I don’t look back and I never will.”
Delhi has been home to Manoj, since his college days. “My family has shifted here, it’s home to me,” he says. On the changing dynamics of the city, he observes, “Delhi has changed a lot in terms of development and infrastructure. But, its food and people are still the same.”
Over the years, his love for theatre has remained intact and he keeps coming back to the Capital to work with the students and the directors of NSD. “Theatre has always been relevant. There are so many creative people who don’t know where to go and how to channelise their creativity. Institutions like NSD come handy in such cases.”
His passion and respect for theatre can be inferred from his statement: “Theatre is surviving for centuries because of passionate individuals across the world. Cinema may die, television may die but theatre will never die. That’s the power of theatre.”
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