Actor Manoj Bajpai is known for his acting histrionics. Two times National Award winner as an actor, Manoj is once again a very happy man because once again his film ‘1971’ has won another National Award for best feature film. ‘Acid Factory’, a multi starrer is his forthcoming project.
How did you get a role in Acid Factory and what is your character all about??
I was not working in any film for a long time and had taken a break when ‘Acid Factory’ happened to me. It was post ‘Das Kahaniya’, when I had clean shaven my head. I had met Sanjay Gupta somewhere and he told me that he liked my new look and also told me he wants my same look for his next script. Then he came for dinner at my place and asked me go through the script. Once I went through it, I realized that as an actor I had something new to do.
I’m playing the character of a police inspector. He is loyal to his people, has fewer memories, sometimes he is emotional, sometimes funny. He is also angry aggressive. He is unpredictable too, you never know how he is going to react.
Sanjay Gupta is always known as a friend of friends, what is you personal experience with him?
Sanjay Gupta is our family friend who would never need any invite to come to my place. Some time he just calls and says, “I want to eat this. Keep it ready, I’m coming for lunch or dinner.” And yes, he is friend’s friend and a very good person. We get along very well and enjoy each other’s company.
Tell us something about ‘Acid Factory’. The promos we see, suggest some resemblance of ‘Kaante’?
‘Acid factory’ is a Sanjay Gupta kind of film, characters are fascinating, and techniques used for the shoots are very good. Since each maker has a distinct signature style, it is visible in all their films. The same goes with Sanjay too. But the story has it own uniqueness. The entire film is shot in one factory and it has so many stars. For that the director Suparn and Sanjay have worked very hard so that each gets their due. And no, it is not another ‘Kaante’.
Designing of the sets and costumes has been quite challenging for them. It’s a very gripping film but no question of resemblance to anything. We have rehearsed for the film. Sahil, the cinematographer, is USP of the film, as his camera work is totally fresh and new, nicely shot. Every department was working interestedly and the involvement of people from the director, to the actor to the spot boy was complete. It shows in the film.
Can you share some of your shooting experience with us?
The entire shooting of the movie was done at Ramoojirao film city, and to reach there from Hyderabad city, all the 5 6 actors had to travel daily for 2 hours. Sanjay Gupta is a friend for all, so every day he used to throw a party. We would party till 12.30, and then would go to sleep and it was essential for everybody to attend the party. If by chance anyone would miss it, then he would have to listen to a dressing down from the director. But it was fun.
Aftab, Dino, Irrfan, Fardeen all used to join the party after they were done with gym. But I and director Suparn, would sit and discuss the next day’s scenes, do additions and deletions before we could join in. and everyday, we were called workaholics and given nasty names for reaching late.
From all of you only Irrfan gets the heroine in the film. Did you ever feel jealous??
We were 5 6 actors but we had only one female with us, Diya Mirza and she was cast opposite Irrfan Khan. Naturally all the other guys were damn jealous of him. Why does he alone gets the lady? So we would all pass comments at them. But I got the consolation prize because my wife Shabana is also doing a special appearance in the film. So I’m quiet happy.
Starting from ‘Satya’ to ‘Swami’, how has your journey been? Did you feel that this industry has been not able to utilize your acting abilities??
If you look my Filmography ‘Satya’, ‘Shool’, ‘Kaun’, ‘Aks’ and all my movies have been very different from one another and in ‘Acid Factory’ too, I tried to do the same thing. I have tried to be totally different. Look wise, performance wise, character wise and good time wise also. The fact is that Suparn has given us lots of chance and scope to play our characters and he is also open to ideas and suggestions. As far as my career is concerned, I find myself blessed because I have had lots of quality and good movies with good directors and it’s going nice on the personal and professional front as well. Still as an actor I am looking for more and more different roles, big roles, nice production and everything else that any actor would like to have.
What is your dream role??
My dream role is to play ‘Devdas’ but no such luck as SRK has already done the classic ‘Devdas’ and recently Abhay Deol has played the contemporary ‘Devdas’.