Manoj Bajpayee has come a long way since working as a theater artist and becoming a big actor and superstar on the OTT platform. As he turns 53, here’s a brief sketch of how despite getting rejected four times for admission to the National School of Drama, Delhi his persistent efforts helped him evolve as one of the highly acclaimed Indian actors who have equal standing in both commercial cinema and on the digital platform.
Satya Was a Game Changer for Manoj
The journey was not that easy for Manoj who had no godfather in the film industry and initially, was offered very short roles like a one-minute role in his debut movie Drohkaal, or a very short role in Shekhar Kapur’s much-acclaimed Bandit Queen. But it was his role as Bhiku Mhatre in Satya helmed by Ram Gopal Verma that gave this raw talent recognition and a name in the mainstream cinema. And that is why even today, despite the declining graph of RGV, Manoj has said that he is still ready to work with him if the director offers him a good role.
The movie brought him his first National Award for best supporting actor and also a Filmfare. Films like 'Kaun?' and 'Shool' took his career further ahead and for the latter, he won his second Filmfare Award. He also won Special Jury National Award for Pinjar.
Rajneeti, Gangs of Wasseypur Established Manoj’s Versatility
While Manoj has played the protagonist with aplomb in most of the movies, it was his greedy character in Rajneeti and the role of an antagonist in Gangs of Wasseypur that established him as a versatile actor. And then followed a series of such roles and characters including Special 26, Chakravyuh, Aligarh, and Bhonsle for which he also received his third National Award as the best actor.
Be it Tevar, Sarkar 3, Naam Shabana, Baaghi 2, or Aiyaary, Manoj Bajpayee has emerged as a multi-talented actor who can do justice to all types of roles, especially the characters with great strength, special mannerisms, and depth. He is a method actor and has been inspired by Bollywood legends like Amitabh Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah. On the other hand, today’s mainstream actors like Nawajuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi call Manoj their inspiration.
According to Kay Kay Menon, Manoj opened the doors of Bollywood for method actors like him and Irrfan Khan, or else they might still be struggling to get good roles.
The Family Man franchise has established him as one of the biggest stars on the OTT platforms. Both the seasons of this web series were highly successful and fans are eagerly awaiting release of the third season.