18th November 2020

Manoj Bajpai Speaks On Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, the OTT and Forthcoming Assignments.

Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari sees you donning several disguises.Was that a challenge?

It was a challenge getting  into all those disguises. When you have  4-5 people working on your looks, prosthetics etc every morning  for hours for a disguise that came on screen  for just a  few minutes .

Sounds like  quite a challenge?

 It  was quite a  task. I also had to  work on the  characters for each disguise, give  it a backstory, even if it was on screen  briefly. It  had  to  look convincing. So yes it was  a challenge, but worth it.

After  doing  so  many  heavy roles  was it fun doing comedy?

If you mean only comedy is fun, then I disagree with  you. I always have fun no matter which character  be it Bhonsle or  The Family  Man or Gali Guleyan. No matter what  the tone of   the  character  the  one has to  enjoy playing it.Some roles make you  intensely  invested  like GaliGuleyan, Bhonsle or Satya. Others characters  put you in a happier place and you remain in  a happy frame of mind playing them in  order  to pitch them  in the right  mode, as was  the case with The Family Man  and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari.

Was it a relief in Suraj  Pe Mangal  Bhari  to move away from so many heavy parts in recent times?

Yes , it  was   a different  turn and quite   a change from the   characters I’ve been  playing  recently. Even  The Family Man gives me the chance  to stay  lighthearted , although  in  a very different way  as compared to  Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari.When  you are doing something like Rukh  or Aligarh   you can’t bring  the happy sur to the sets  .That would disturb  the   mood   of  the character.

Also Read:  Kartik Aryan, The Birthday Boy Who Loves To Be Loved

These had begun to take a toll on your mental health?

It’s true. When  I was  doing  Satya, Kaun and Shool  they completely ruined my mental health.  With experience and age I  learnt  to  distance  myself from my characters  to  the extent that they didn’t affect  me psychologically. After Pinjra I  changed my approach so that I immerse myself in the character and come  out  without hurting myself.

In spite of the pandemic 2020 has been a good year for you workwise comment?

Coincidentally  all my OTT  projects  came out during the pandemic  be  it  Bhonsle, The Family Man or Mrs Serial Killer.One  of  my own favourite  films 1971 went unnoticed  when  it  was released  in theatres in 2007. The producers recently  put it on YouTube where  it’s a blockbuster. I also did  Bhojpuri  rap for Anubhav Sinha during the  pandemic. Yes, I am   humbled by  the woekand  attention during these  stressful times.  But at the same  time nobody wants to be   locked down  for six months, jobless helpless. Now I’m shooting  again and it’s going  to be  back-to-back work for  me for  the  next one-and-a-half years.

Also Read:  Sonu Sood Meets Bihari Fan, Gives Him Invaluable Gyan

Tell me   about your  forthcoming assignments?

I am not allowed  to talk about  all of them. I’ve signed some  very  exciting stuff.I  am very excited   about The  Family Man. All the characters  have moved  on  from Part 1. It’s a different dynamic  and politics. It’s going to be  a very different  experience from Part 1. My character Srikant Tiwari is now  in a different  zone.I had a ball shooting  it. Shrikant is  like R K Laxman’s Common Man striving to keep a balance  between his work and family.  I enjoyed playing his various shades  and yet  had to ensure the audience  saw  him as one character. Like Srikant TiwariI  am going to have to be  away  from my family for quite a lot time in  2021.

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