Actor Manoj Bajpai known for playing offbeat and unconventional roles speaks to Srishti Jha on Indian cinema, the Gen Next actors, and his upcoming films.
How has Indian cinema evolved over the years?
Evolution is a process which works at every level of creative form. It evolves with the artists. Indian cinema has taken a big leap in getting the entire world on a single platform. It has expanded and diversified over a period of time.
What is the most interesting thing when it comes to Bollywood?
Every industry has something unique about it. But I think that it's the singing and dancing culture when it comes to Bollywood. I personally have never liked it whenever this trend comes in the way of cinema. But it is an integral part of it. You can't do without it.
Which character you have played so far touched you the most?
I can't take one name when it comes to that. My character in Satya, Zubeida, Shool, Bandit Queen, Pinjar, 1971, Aks, all are very close to my heart. They are my different shades. I have made very few mistakes in terms of choosing my films. So I am satisfied with the kind of work I have done.
What is your take one the Gen Next actors?
They are immensely talented. They have got a good exposure in terms of cinema in terms of Indian as well as world scenario. They are very sure of themselves. My generation was never that sure in such affairs.
What is your take on off-beat cinema and commercial cinema?
There is no such thing like off-beat cinema and commercial cinema. There is just good cinema and bad cinema. Some good films don't work at times and some bad films do so well.
Which is the darkest character you have played so far?
My character in Aks. That was a very intense as well as an experimental role. A lot of homework was done for that. It's a difficult job to play an evil character.
You come from a small town and you have established yourself very well in the industry. Has your journey been a difficult one?
It's always a difficult journey. All we have to do is to take it like an adventure because we choose it for ourselves. A lot of hard work and devotion is into it.
Any new projects you working on?
Presently I am doing a film called Das Tola which is a romantic comedy. The other film which is all set to release is Rajneeti which is a political film.