For almost 20 years now, Manoj Bajpayee has stood for quality cinema. The actor talks about his forthcoming films and his continuing emphasis on good content.
Do you think smaller films are been noticed by the audience these days?
Content is slowly taking over superstars in Bollywood. See Neerja, Airlift, Aligarh -- they all are content-driven films. After five years, things will be completely different.
Your film Traffic releases this month. How different is the film from the Malayalam original?
We have not changed much from the original film as we wanted to stay true to the kind of film we were making. We have tweaked a little bit to suit the sensibilities, but the rest is pretty similar.
What preparations did you do to play a traffic constable engaged in a race against time to deliver a human heart for transplant?
I don’t prepare myself to be a constable. I prepared myself to be a human being who is wearing a uniform. Playing him was very personal and organic. I didn’t really have to prepare myself for this.
You seem to have become identified with intense roles.
An amazing film of mine called Saat Uchakkey will release within the next two months. The promo of the film will be out after the release of Traffic. You will fall down laughing because it is so hilarious but it is still in the realistic space.
Are you also doing a film with Tabu?
Yes, I am a part of the psychological thriller titled Missing with Tabu. I am not just acting but also co-producing the film and, trust me, it is an amazing script. There is also a film called Duronto which I just finished shooting for.
It’s the days of sequels. Will we ever see you return as Satya’s Bhiku Mhatre?
Satya released 18 to 19 years back! I was sitting with Ram Gopal Varma a few days back and we were talking about the film. See, it is very hard to repeat the same performance because I am not in the same age. I don’t think such a character will suit me now. If someone writes one more Satya, Bhiku Mhatre should be played by a different actor as I am on a different journey now.