Actor Manoj Bajpayee, whose caller tune is ‘Hello Mr Bond’, feels like a
super hero these days, thanks to Prakash Jha’s
, a film that, he claims, has made him a household name again. “The film has surpassed
(1998), both in terms of box-office collections as well as character popularity. People are repeating my lines from the film and it feels so good,” he exults.
The actor admits that after the the commercial failure of
losing out on promotion and
slipping on collections, he had stopped expecting anything from his films. “I had stopped hoping for a blockbuster and had resigned myself to be content with critical acclaim. But,
has not only been appreciated, it has been hugely accepted by the public, who are going back for repeat viewings,” Bajpayee says.
“Finally, Bhiku Mhatre (his character in
) is dead. I’m sad for him because he had attained cult status. But I’m also happy for this new success; long live Veeru
(his character in
Ask him if politicians are sending out feelers to him, given that his character successfully wooed the masses, Bajpayee says that every time an election is near, there is pressure on him to campaign for one party or the other and even contest from a constituency. He adds that the reason he hasn’t campaigned yet is because he didn’t know anyone well enough to rally for them. And the reason he will never jump onto the political bandwagon is because he loves acting too much to leave it.