Amid talks of insider vs outsider, actor Manoj Bajpayee says he chooses to be the latter. Even after a three decade long career, having won acclaim, he says he chooses to be on the “fringe” of the film industry.
“Being an insider means looking for validation, I am not interested in anybody’s validation or approval, the only person who does that is me. I am the biggest critic of myself, and only I know what I want to do with myself. When you are on the fringe, there is a lot of liberation and freedom you feel. I have never complained, I am still there and will always be. Being an insider means too many things I either don’t agree with, or don’t have the time to indulge in,” tell us the 51-year-old Padma Shri.
Asked to elaborate on what those things are, he jokes, “I will write a book some day.”
But on a serious note, on the fact that his name crops up when asked to say which outsider made it big, he adds, “The biggest outsider examples are Akshay kumar and Shah Rukh Khan, those are the people who were outsiders and became insiders. I have been an outsider, and I love to be that in the industry. I will still keep doing my work the way I want to do it, I don’t have any problem in being an outsider, because it gives me a lot of freedom to do what I want to, as there is no expectation from you, be at the box office, awards.”
His journey has been a tough one, and Bajpayee has been more than vocal when asked about it. But there was bound to be some point when after facing so many obstacles, he would have wanted to quit it all. Did he have any back up plan if acting didn’t work out? He replies in negative.
“One thing was sure, I was not going to go back, and not going to change my profession. I was very sure, that if I have to do a street play on some nukkad, I will still be an actor. The madness or passion was about the craft, it was never about a Mercedes car or an apartment. Everything that I have earned was not planned, nor it existed in my mind, it was all a by product. Today, if I get the money I ask for, it’s not that I worked for it, I worked simply to be known as the actor that I am,” explains Bajpayee.
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