Manoj Bajpayee says wife Shabana thought The Family Man was a TV series before he signed on: 'OTT was not that big'
Actor Manoj Bajpayee spoke about working on a web series with The Family Man before it became the norm. He recalled that his wife, actor Shabana, thought it was going to be a TV series.
Manoj Bajpayee was one of the few actors from the Hindi film industry that said yes to a web series ahead of the OTT boom that took place during the pandemic. The actor has been playing Srikant Tiwari in Prime Video's The Family Man since 2019. Created by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the series is expected to begin filming its third season later this year. (Also read: Manoj Bajpayee returned to his chawl 6 months later, saw 10 people living there: 'One was Tigmanshu Dhulia')
The actor, who made his acting debut with a small role in Govind Nihalani's Drohkaal (1994), shared that working in the web series was a gamble that took five years when the filmmaker Raj and DK came to him with the story and script. Manoj has worked in film, television and been a part of several short films but working in a web series was new territory for him.
The actor told Kamiya Jani that when he accepted the role, his wife, actor Shabana, thought he would be working on a television series. In a joint interview with The Bombay Journey X Sunday Brunch, Manoj shared, "Even The Family Man was a chance that I've taken. That time also I was doing fairly well with my film career. My wife thought I am going to do a TV series because OTT was not that big."
He went on to say, "I used to get a lot of offers and when I used to explore OTT at that time, I saw that there was a template - thriller, murder thriller, sex or abuses - which was available and doing well. I was looking for something else which was away from all this otherwise it's not worth it. To my luck, Raj and DK came through [casting director] Mukesh Chhabra. They gave a 20 minute narration and I said, I'm game."
The first season starred Sharib Hashmi, Priyamani, Neeraj Madhav, Sunny Hinduja and Shreya Dhanwanthary. Samantha Ruth Prabhu joined the second season as an antagonistic character named Raji. The second season aired on Prime Video in June 2021. The third season has been hinted at the end of the second season finale. However, Manoj said that Raj and DK are still in the writing process. The co-creators are working on another Prime Video series Citadel with Varun Dhawan and Samantha.