I have to reinvent myself: Manoj Bajpai
What's the new look about?
I prefer doing one film at a time so I can look like the character I'm playing. I wanted to do something drastic since I'm playing an unpredictable guy in Acid Factory.
I asked my producer Sanjay Gupta and director Suparn Varma to get involved in my styling. Although I wanted a weird haircut, I ended up with short hair.
Do you want a change of image as such?
Not really. This year again, you'll see me in an action movie like Acid Factory and at the same time a comedy like Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. I want to do every possible role.. at the same time I know I have to reinvent myself.
After being around for more than a decade, isn't that a bit too late?
Well, it's not something that I've decided to do. My friends Sanjay Gupta and Ganesh Acharya wanted to change something in me and I allowed them to. I trust them.
Please go on.
No one is making the kind of films that one used to.. let's say like Shool. I did Aks nearly seven years ago.. today people say that it was ahead of its time. It may not have worked when it was released, but it's still talked about.
Irrespective of their boxoffice fate, 1971 and Swami are two of the best films of my career. It's just that the producers lacked the resources.. they couldn't promote the movies very well. No one saw these films, so I keep distributing their DVDs.
How do you look back at Satya?
It became a landmark film. Till Satya was released, we thought we would only get critical acclaim. But it went on to become a commercial hit. I wish I had the mantra of how to be in a hit.. then I would rule the industry .
The success of a film doesn't mean that it was great. Similarly, all flops are not bad films.
Tell me why didn't Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra offer you Rang De Basanti after Aks?
We did talk about Rang De Basanti. But over the time, it became a big project and it needed a big star.
Do you mean, you were to do Aamir Khan's role?
(Pause) Right from our Aks days, I always believed that Rakeysh is a talented director.. the success of Rang De Basanti proved that.
That's not the answer to my question.
(Laughs) It is in a way.
Why have you stopped working with Mahesh Bhatt?
I called Mr Bhatt, a year and half ago and he said we'd be working together soon. Now, I'm waiting for his call. He was the first person in Bombay who showed immense faith in my potential as an actor.
What about Ram Gopal Varma?
We have mutually decided that we will never work together again.
Mutually? Meaning you both sat across the table and decided not to work together.
(Smiles) We are both happy with the decision of not working together.
Money Hai toh Honey Hai doesn't seem to be your type of a film.
It's a Ganesh Acharya kind of comedy. It's not senseless.. it's about five losers and I play one of them. My character Lala Bhai Bhadoria is from Uttar Pradesh.. he aspires to become a crorepati overnight.
Your wife Neha is making a comeback with Sanjay Gupta's Alibaug?
Yeah and this time she'll use her original name Shabana. She had never quit acting.. she just didn't want to work with people she didn't like.
No kids yet.. are you into family planning.
(Laughs) Now, that's a very personal question.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Prakash Raj is the latest addition to the cast of Mani Ratnam's ambitious period drama Ponniyin Selvan. The two first worked together in Iruvar in 1997.
- Priyanka Chopra has shared Jungle Mantra, an original song from the White Tiger soundtrack, by Divine, featuring Vince Staples and Pusha T. Listen here.
- Kavita Kaushik took a dig at Rubina Dilaik while saying that she deserves to win the Bigg Boss 14 trophy. Earlier, Kavita walked out of the show after a nasty fight with Rubina.
- Filmmaker-actor Divya Khosla Kumar has spoken about her journey, and how she didn't want to join the film industry when she first moved to Mumbai.
- Twinkle Khanna shared a review of Tandav, which said that Dimple Kapadia 'upstaged' her co-star Saif Ali Khan. While Twinkle praised Saif's performance as well, she said that 'mama bear is still the best'.
- Actor Rajkummar Rao isn't over his obsession with Shah Rukh Khan. He has often spoken about his love for SRK.
- Sidharth Shukla watched the first three episodes of Tandav and praised the show. He also gave a shout-out to Gauahar Khan and said that he loved her performance.
- As actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan prepare to move into their house, their designer gave an insight into all the amenities the new home will have.
- Did you know that Pranutan Bahl and Kajol are related? Here's what the young actor has to say about her equation with 'Kajol bua'.