Manoj Bajpayee talk about his hardships to set foot in Bollywood
Gangs of Wasseypur famed Manoj Bajpayee recently talked about his struggles to get into Bollywood. Also talked about his suicidal thoughts.
Mumbai: Recipient of 2 national awards, and Padma Shri, Manoj Bajpayee has been ruling the Bollywood like a star. He started his career with one minute role in Drohkaal, and then played a cameo in Bandit Queen in 1994. However, got a break and came to the limelight after doing a crime drama produced by Ram Gopal Verma, Satya. Satya earned him many accolades along with the national award for best actor in a supporting role. Recently Bajpayee talked to Humans of Bombay and shared his struggles to get through Bollywood.
Let's Hear from Manoj Bajpayee
“I’m a farmer’s son; I grew up in a village in Bihar with 5 siblings–we went to a hut school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theatre. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny.”
Speaking about that his family wasn't aware that he left for DU, and started doing theatre, he says-
“Finally, I wrote a letter to dad–he wasn’t angry & even sent me Rs.200 to cover my fees! People back home called me ‘good for nothing’ but I turned a blind eye."
Bajpayee talked of having 'suicidal thoughts'
“I was an outsider, trying to fit in. So, I taught myself English & Hindi–Bhojpuri was a big part of how I spoke. I then applied to NSD, but was rejected thrice. I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me & not leave me alone. They kept me going until I was accepted.”
Struggled to meet basic needs
“Initially, it was tough–I rented a chawl with 5 friends & looked for work, but got no roles. Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st shot. I didn’t fit the ideal ‘hero’ face–so they thought I’d never make it to the big screen. All the while, I struggled to make rent & at times even a vada pav was costly.”
Hunger in stomach didn't stop him
“But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed. After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series. I got Rs.1500 per episode–my first steady income. My work was noticed & I was offered my first Bollywood film & soon, I got my big break with ‘Satya’.
And the success for Bajpayee finally
“That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 67 films later, here I am. That’s the thing about dreams–when it comes to turning them into reality, the hardships don’t matter. What matters is the belief of that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else."
Manoj's two big projects released on the digital platform this year, Mrs Serial Killer and Bhosle.