After being in the industry for over 25 years and featuring in more than 60 films, Manoj Bajpayee is enjoying the best phase of his career. In 2018, he did films as diverse as Satyameva Jayate, Baaghi 2 and Aiyaary to Missing, Love Sonia and Gali Guleiyan. Now he would be kick-starting his 2019 campaign with this Friday’s release Sonchiriya which would be followed by his next feature film Bhosle as well as TV series The Family Man.
In the middle of this all, he has also been heralded with the honor of Padma Shri for his contribution to Indian cinema.
“Guess what, many times people said to me that I won’t get it since I wasn’t lobbying for it. As a matter of fact many politicians also said the same to me,” reveals Bajpayee, “However, I wanted it come through the right means and channels. I told my family and friends that come what may, I won’t lobby for any award in my life. Eventually when I get up in the morning, I should be able to see myself in the mirror. I should be able to tell myself that I have truly earned an award. If I deserve an honor then give it to me otherwise don’t; it is as simple as that.”
One now waits to see if he has come up with yet another award winning performance in Sonchiriya which is directed by Abhishek Choubey of Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya and Udta Punjab fame.
“I don’t have a really big role in the film but I truly enjoyed my part of Maan Singh,” he smiles, “I always wanted to work with Abhishek; I have been a huge fan of his work. As a matter of fact after working in the film, I came out respecting other actors. Each of them has completely surrendered to filmmaking here. Be it Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana or Bhumi Pednekar, each one of them totally comes across as the character that he or she is playing. It has been a truly amazing collaboration with all.”
There is a lot of curiosity around the film’s title as well. So what exactly does Sonchiriya convey?
“There is lot of folklore about Sonchiriya,” mentions Bajpayee, “It stands for a golden bird and everybody is hunting for it. It is something which is very hard to find. That’s all I can reveal about it for now. When you would watch the film, you would realize its true context.”
We wait to check that out for ourselves once the film, which is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, releases this Friday.