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I’ve always looked up to Rajinikanth sir: Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee talks about winning his third National Award; adds that each time he goes up on the stage to accept the honour, memories about his first win for Satya come back rushing
Manoj Bajpayee and Rajinikanth pose for photographers during the 67th National Film Awards presentation ceremony, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
Published on Oct 26, 2021 10:48 PM IST
ByTitas Chowdhury

After bagging two National Awards for Satya (1998) and Pinjar (2003), Manoj Bajpayee received a third on Monday as he was honoured with the Best Actor award for his performance in Bhonsle (2018). He reveals that each time he goes up on the stage to accept his award, memories of his first win come rushing back to his mind. And while winning the top award is always special, this honour is slightly more special for the actor.

He tells, “It feels even better when you win awards for films that are close to your heart. This was a film we wanted to make for a while but we weren’t getting money from anyone who could produce it. It took us four years to make Bhonsle. So, it definitely means the world to us. It’s kind of a poetic justice that has happened to the film.”

Manoj Bajpayee arrives to receive the best actor award during the 67 National Film Awards (Photo: Money Sharma/AFP)
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The ceremony held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, will remain as a fond memory for the 52-year-old actor as it also gave him the opportunity to interact and exchange notes with other artistes. Quiz him about meeting superstar Rajinikanth, who was bestowed the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, and Bajpayee says, “Rajinikanth sir is a legend and I’ve always looked up to him for the journey he has had. He came from a humble background and created such a big name for himself. He treats everyone with a lot of humility. I spoke to him but it had nothing to do with cinema but spirituality.”

Talking about his interaction with South star Dhanush, who also won the Best Actor award, he says, “I had a long conversation with Dhanush. We shared our thoughts on the films we like and his films that I’ve watched. He’s a remarkable young mind doing some remarkable films. He’s very inspiring.”

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