Manoj Bajpai
Manoj Bajpai

Manoj Bajpai is going through a roller coaster ride. If 2012 was special due to Gangs of Wasseypur, 2013 is also starting on a special note with Special Chabbis (26). With a biggie like Shootout At Wadala arriving soon and Satyagraha continuing his stint with Prakash Jha, Manoj is enjoying visibility like never before.

‘Special Chabbis (26)’ is indeed looking quite fantastic. I guess the very promo did the trick when it saw an all around positive response for itself.
It is heartening that I have done Neeraj Pandey’s second project. Ever since A Wednesday, I was so much looking forward to working with him. He is one of his kind of directors who is honest, sincere and encouraging. We as an industry need this kind of talent. I am sure that once the initial crowd comes in, the product will take care of rest of the journey that the film should take.

Meanwhile it is clear that you are definitely having fun enacting the part of the real CBI officer, isn’t it?
Yes, indeed. I know some of CBI guys and also went gone through research that Neeraj had done. CBI is a body which really takes pride in its investigations while being really independent of any pressure. That kind of arrogance and flamboyance is what you would see in the character I am enacting. These guys are really competitive and have always wanted to be a step ahead of anybody that they are dealing with.

Now in the film there is also a superstar like Akshay Kumar. With you and him together as principal protagonists, it is apparent that ‘Special Chabbis (26)’ would gain from a definite edge that the two of you bring in.
It’s a very unique combination in the film; that’s the beauty of this setting, I am sure Neeraj went to Akshay thinking that he is the perfect actor for this role. With me, Akshay, Anupam, Jimmy together, it is a unique mix of different kind of actors coming together for different kind of roles. In fact so many people have pointed me out that due to us coming together, the promos and the posters turned out to be really interesting.

Recently you mentioned how you were auditioning along with newcomers. You actually don’t mind auditioning for first time directors?
No, not at all, and guess that, the director is taking his own sweet time before he can decide on the final cast (sighs). I don’t mind auditioning though. It is a good project and a role. Doing this audition with the newcomers gives me a chance to go back to a workshop mode. I am treating this as an exercise where as an actor I can be on my toes all over again and do something new with myself. Moreover, these new actors are a fantastic lot and come up with different interpretation of the various scenarios. You take in so much from them.

Still, after being in the industry for 20 years, do you really need this?
Arrey, acting has the capacity to fail you anytime if you stop learning. You can’t afford to sit on the past laurels.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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