In a career spanning nearly 20 years, actor Manoj Bajpayee has oscillated between brilliant and mediocre performances, winning acting honours while also getting brickbats for his poor choice of movie roles.
Bajpayee, whose performance in “Gangs of Wasseypur” (2012) and “Special 26” this year won him critical acclaim, plays the villain in Prakash Jha’s “Satyagraha”. The Bollywood film opened in cinemas on Friday.
The 44-year-old actor spoke to Reuters about how he nearly wrecked his movie career, the time when he had no work and why he is no longer content with just good roles.
Q: You’ve worked with Prakash Jha in several films, but most of them have been rather negative roles. Does he see the negative side of you?
A: This question surprises me. We think that the character standing opposite the hero is negative. But that is not true. I have never gone to receive awards where I was in the villain’s category. Just because my character was opposite Ranbir Kapoor in “Raajneeti”, doesn’t put him in the negative category. It is defined that all brothers are fighting for their rights, but it is never defined who is wrong or right. “Aarakshan” was different. It was completely negative because he is using education as a way to make money. There is no morality there, whereas my character in “Raajneeti” had loads of morality. My character in “Satyagraha” is in every sense a villain. Everything that is wrong about a person, is there in him. He is cunning, he is shrewd. He doesn’t have good intentions. In “Satyagraha”, he (Jha) has given me a negative character and yes, I have taken it up, for my association with him for the last three films.