Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Manoj Bajpayee is an actor loved for his incredible talent and versatility. His ability to portray a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity has earned him widespread acclaim in the film industry. From intense dramas to light-hearted comedies, he consistently delivers memorable performances that leave a lasting impact on audiences. Be it Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai's Advocate Solanki, Gangs of Wasseypur's Sardar Khan or Veer Zaara's Raza Sharazi, he flawlessly nailed his characters and won the hearts of moviegoers.

However, it was 1998's Bhiku Mhatre that earned him a reputation in the industry. Even superstar Salman Khan said that Manoj deserved an award for the role. Notably, Manoj Bajpayee won the National Award for Best Supporting Actor for Bhiku Mhatre. However, at another award ceremony, he was snubbed for the same category by Salman Khan. While Manoj was nominated for Satya, Salman got for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

During a recent interview with Pinkvilla, The Family Man actor recalled the incident and briefed how the audience reacted when Salman's name was announced as the winner.

Manoj was quoted as saying, "Ismein bohot badi sachai hai kyunki humlog the waha pe. Aur jab naam announce hua tha toh jitne log the waha pe sab naraaz hogaye the. Log khade ho kar chilla re the 'Bhiku Mhatre'. (There is a lot of truth in this because we were there. And when the name was announced, many were angry, and people were standing up and shouting 'Bhiku Mhatre.'"

Further, he added, "It was very gracious of Salman Khan ki wo stage pe gaye aur unhone bola ki 'pata nai mujhe kyun diya, yeh deserve toh Manoj karta hai. Aur yeh bolne ke liye bohot hi large-hearted hona padta hai and Salman did that. I really felt good ki industry mein kuch aese log bhi hai (It was very gracious of Salman Khan to go on stage and say that I don't know why it was given to me, Manoj deserves it. And to say this, one has to be very large-hearted, and Salman did that. I really felt good that there are also such people in the industry)."

Yash Chopra was adamant about casting Manoj Bajpayee in Veer Zaara, know why

Manoj Bajpayee debuted in 1994 with Bandit Queen. However, he got recognition after four years with Ram Gopal Varma's Satya. Ever since he never looked back and continued to win the hearts of the audience.

But, did you know that Manoj Bajpayee won the heart of Bollywood's ace filmmaker Yash Chopra? Moreover, he was so much impressed with Manoj that he became adamant about casting him in Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta-starrer Veer Zaara.

A couple of days back, Manoj recalled the incident and opened up that he had to sign films in the initial days because he was running out of money. Though his movies tanked at the box office, he received National Awards. Ironically, he got the chance to work with the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra after he bagged a National Award for Pinjar.

During the interview with Siddharth Kanan, Manoj recalled, “I got a National award for Pinjar. But it did not work at the box-office. But you know what Pinjar gave me? It gave me Veer Zaara. Yash ji saw the film and he was mesmerised and he was adamant on getting me to do that role in Veer Zaara.”

Further, the Shool actor said, “Nahi toh Yash ji ke saath hum jaise actors ki koi jagah he nahi thi. Yash ji kehte bhi the ki ‘beta, yeh ab hojaega kyunki pata nahi kab kaam karenge tere saath main tere jaise actors ke liye film nahi banata (Yash ji used to say, ‘Son, this will happen now because I don’t know when I’ll work with you. I don’t make films for actors like you).” Manoj featured in the Yash Chopra directorial in a cameo.

On the work front, Manoj will be next seen in Bhaiyya Ji, scheduled to hit the theaters on 24 May.