Manoj Bajpayee, who is often described as being choosy about his roles, admits that he doesn’t accept everything that comes his way.
“Although, of late I’ve given in to directors due to my association with them,” he says, adding, “But at this stage in my career and after being in the industry for two decades, I guess I can do that.”
Currently, the actor has just begun shooting for his next, Traffic, in which he plays the role of a traffic cop. At the same time, he’s also looking forward to his next release, Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha.
Ask him about playing the role of a cop and he says, “I’ve played a CBI officer before, but the role of a traffic cop is completely different. I realised that when I began shooting. But frankly, as actors, you never play professions, you only play characters."
Apart from being choosy, another tag Manoj is often attached with is that of being a character actor. But surprisingly, he isn’t too fond of that label. He says, “I’m the guy who does Gangs Of Wasseypur- I (2012) where I play the lead, then I do a Special 26, where I play the parallel lead. And now in Satyagraha I’m the villain. So you can’t really categorise my work. I’d like to believe I’m a versatile actor, not a character actor.”
Recently, there were reports of Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya 2 going on the floors soon. Satya (1998), was in fact the film that made Manoj a star. Ask him about not being in the sequel (his character Bhiku Mhatre dies in the first film) and he says, “You can’t revive a character. But my best wishes are with RGV and I have immense faith in his abilities. I am what I am because of him.”
Amrita Rao, Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpayee during Satyagraha promotions. (AFP Photo)