‘Nobody in My Industry is Anti-National’: Manoj Bajpayee

Against the backdrop of the lush Sunder nursery, The Quint caught up with India’s favorite ‘Family Man’, actor Manoj Bajpayee, at the 2019 Kathakar festival in Delhi.

Bajpayee, who was most recently seen on Prime Video’s Family Man, spoke about the contribution of a performer in a story during his inaugural speech at the Kathakar festival, an event that celebrate stories and the art of story-telling.

In terms of storytelling, Bajpayee’s Family Man clearly makes for an impactful OTT debut, but as per the actor, the transition from movies to digital series is not as easy as it may seem.

"“The digital space is very challenging, because you have 10 episodes and that means, three to four films. You’re actually finishing four films with one season…it’s tedious”" - Manoj Bajpayee to The Quint 

However, Bajpayee stresses that this doesn’t take away the excitement of creating something the audience enjoys, and that the show is all set to come back with a ‘bigger and better’ second season.

He also spoke about Kashmir, where a large chunk of the first season of Family Man was shot.

"“It was fantastic. Kashmir is not only beautiful but the people are fantastic as well. People are very cooperative, they have a set of young boys who are there to make sure you shoot smoothly and you’re able to enjoy on set without any fear” " - Manoj Bajpayee to The Quint 

Also Read: The Family Man: Never a Dull Moment In Manoj Bajpayee’s Wacky Show

Moving on to the current state of affairs in the Indian film industry, Bajpayee also spoke about the issue where some artists are dealing with allegations of sedition.

"“I personally feel that nobody in this industry is anti-national. Nobody. They might be having different points of view but all of them love this country. All of them love this nation and some of them can’t even think of being anywhere else but in this country.”" - Manoj Bajpayee to The Quint 

But not everyone is as vocal as Bajpayee. With recurring instances of Bollywood actors shying away from speaking on political issues, we asked him why is that still the case.

"“It’s not new that actors shy away from talking about it (politics). I think I’m known for speaking my mind, but yes, now I kind of keep it to myself most of the times because now, social media has given so much liberty to people, to create handles and say anything nasty to you…they just read one line and start abusing and trolling”. " - Manoj Bajpayee to The Quint 

Looks like for actors, the occupational hazard of being a public figure is their occupation itself.

"“It’s the accessibility of the actors that make it easier for trolls to troll”" - Manoj Bajpayee to The Quint 

Despite the brickbats actors often get for expressing themselves, Bajpayee has managed to keep up his image of not being a mute spectator. As he headed back to the stage to talk more about his journey to Bollywood from a village in Bihar and share his “kisse and kahaaniya”, Bajpayee walked us through relatable problems and inspiring anecdotes.

"“There is no true measure of success. True success [lies in] doing what you love and enjoy doing it”" - Manoj Bajpayee at Kathakar 2019 

Also Read: When Manoj Bajpayee realised where he stood as an actor

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