Manoj Bajpayee reveals Mahesh Bhatt’s compliment for The Family Man: ‘The audacity with which…’
Manoj Bajpayee is basking in the success of the recently released second season of the Amazon Prime series The Family Man. In an interview with Hindustan Times, he revealed the best compliment he received from his colleagues in the film industry for his performance as Srikant Tiwari, a middle-class man struggling to balance domestic life and being a spy.
“Mr Mahesh Bhatt called up recently. He went on and on about my performance, and he knows me from the beginning and my journey. He said in the end, ‘The audacity with which you were working proved yourself right.’ In a way, he is right. I was quite audacious. With that kind of audacity, to survive in this industry even for a month is impossible,” he said.
Currently, Manoj is gearing up for the release of his next, Dial 100. In the film, he plays a police officer ‘whose life is completely turned upside down’ after he gets a call from a grieving mother (played by Neena Gupta) who is seeking revenge for her son’s death.
Talking about his character, Manoj said, “The character is of Nikhil Sood, a middle-class person who is trying to do his job as best as he can but also he is somebody who is very successful. On the personal front, he is a failed father and husband. He gets one chance to redeem himself. Whether he can do it or not, for that you will have to see the film.” He added that while he is yet to watch the film himself, the response from those who have seen it has been ‘quite amazing’.
While Manoj barely has any scenes with Neena, with most of their interactions in Dial 100 happening over a phone call, he called her ‘inspiring’ as an actor and person. “She is a woman that every woman aspires to be,” he said. “With the trailer, Neena ji has created quite an impact in people’s minds. So I am sure she is really going to rock it in the film.”
Manoj also talked about his ‘amazing’ experience of working with Sakshi Tanwar, who plays his wife in Dial 100. Interestingly, he was her first-ever director; she played the lead role in a play directed by him when she was in college.
“I was this proud, young director who directed her when she was in LSR college and I was invited to direct a play. I was very young, she was in her third year. She played the lead in my play. I always believed that she is a very good actress and from then, she has just proved each and everything that I knew about her,” he said.
Earlier this year, Manoj said that the film industry celebrates mediocrity but he feels that the OTT boom has ushered in a change. “On OTT, it is all about experiments, newness in the script and characters, and for those stories, you need those brilliant actors to come on board and play them. OTT doesn’t subscribe to any kind of hyped-up stardom, it actually celebrates talent. That is why we see so many great actors emerging almost every second week. You have so many actors to look up to, I personally learn so much from these new actors, who are junior to me, and that is happening in every language, be it Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil or Telugu or any other language,” he said, adding, “I just hope that it doesn’t change or get into the commercial propagation too much. I hope that the only focus is the content and talent.”
Dial 100, directed by Rensil D’Silva, premieres on Zee5 on August 6.