Connect with us

Exclusive Premium Content

“I had to take A Psychiatrist’s Help To Get Out Of Character,”Manoj  Bajpai On Shool, Which  Turned  24  On November 5



Manoj Bajpai

For Manoj  Bajpai, Shool in which he  played an honest cop wrestling with corruption in Bihar, would always be a special experience.

“We shot the film as one big family.Ramu(Shool producer Ram Gopal Varma)  left  it to  us, Anurag  Kashyap, director  E Niwas,  assistant director Taufeeq who was such a  major factor  in the  film’s  making …Ramu gave  us the  responsibility to choose the location  and  make Shool the way we wanted,”  recalls  Manoj.

 He  also recalls how actor Sayaji Shinde was  cast.  “I wanted him  to meet Ramu immediately before anyone else  was  chosen for  the role that Sayaji played. Most of the casting  was done by Ramu  and Anurag.Somehow we pulled it off. It was  a huge responsibility.”

Manoj  recalls the first screening of  Shool. “Ramu had kept the screening for Mohanlal and Mani Ratnam. They  were completely  blown. Ramu introduced me to  Mohanlal and Mani Ratnam. I  still  remember the compliments I  got from them.Somewhere I feel the preparation for Shool was so intense and I was in character completely for so many months that it was difficult for me  to get out of the  character of the  cop Samar Pratap Singh. I had to seek a psychiatrist’s help to get out of  character.”

The role left Manoj traumatized. “I was getting these awful nightmares that left me  shaken.I needed help. I  constantly felt angry.  I think Shool  took  a lot  of me. The rage I felt took  many months to be exorcized.”

 But  finally it was  all worth it for Manoj. “I would say this is the hero I wanted to  play after  Satya  and Kaun .I am grateful  to Ramu  for gifting me this role on  a  platter.”

When Manoj  went to Bettiah to shoot with his crew for Shool the entire township clamoured around the locations shouting and cheering for their ‘Manoj Bhaiyya’ or ‘Manojwa’ as they affectionately address their prodigal son. Shooting on a railway station in Motihari with Raveena was like trying to hold back waves of surging emotions. It was an emotional homecoming for Manoj.

Manoj is all praise  for his  co-star. “Raveena Tandon gave such a remarkable performance as my wife. She was a huge star. She came on board for Shool, and just became one of us. The shooting in Motihari(Bihar)  was very difficult. The DM  and SP  of   the district went  out of the way to ensure that the  shooting happened smoothly…there are so many memories  of Shool that I will never forget, not a single  day of the shoot is forgotten. But yes, now that  Shool  has completed  24 years, I  want to say it is one of the gems of my filmography. I got so  much acclaim  and recognition for this  film.”

Continue Reading