He is yet to venture into Hollywood like many Bollywood actors, but Manoj Bajpayee’s films have always made their presence felt internationally. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Bhosle (2020) and Aligarh (2015) are a couple of them, and the latter also fetched him the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor.
Then what is stopping him from doing a Hollywood project? The Padma Shri says he can’t settle for anything less than what he gets here in the Hindi film industry. “It’s not in your hands. I keep getting offers, I won’t deny that. It has to be respectable. I am not dying to go there and start from the scratch just because it’s Hollywood,” he quips.
The 51-year-old goes on to add that it however doesn’t mean that he looks at the other industry as any lesser. “I have a whole lot of respect for Hollywood films. It has impacted generation after generation. But I am getting such great roles and respect here, if I get similar there, even a little bit less, that is okay. Starting from scratch is something which is not my scene at all,” the actor, whose latest project is the film Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, which released in theatres, makes it clear.
He believes in making the most of what is available and suits one’s calibre. Bajpayee says, “You should do the things which are in your hand, fantastic and great. Why will you leave all this and go for something which is completely subsidiary?”
Since he seems to be pretty satisfied with how his career has shaped up in India, does this mean that Bollywood has tapped his full potential and knows what to do with an actor like him?
He disagrees. “The Bollywood you are talking about, they still don’t know what to do with us. We work off Bollywood, like there’s off-Broadway. In the city itself, I have always stayed on the fringe and worked from there,” says Bajpayee.
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