In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Manoj Bajpayee opens up on embracing unfamiliarity in Killer Soup.
For the first time in his career, Manoj Bajpayee has played a double role. The actor is seen as Umesh and Prabhakar Shetty in the Netflix series Killer Soup, created by Abhishek Chaubey. Manoj has been praised for his incredible performance in the series, which also features Konkona Sensharma in the leading role. It's been more than a week since Killer Soup was released, and viewers have been praising it for its absurdity over realism and also for the wacky characters played by the talented cast.
During an exclusive interaction with OTTplay, talking about the response the series received, Manoj told us, "It's feeling great, but more for the separate reason that Abhishek Chaubey has tried to create a world that is completely unfamiliar to the audience, be it from our country or from any other country. And the response that we've been receiving has been quite flattering and quite humbling at the same time. Someday you feel that all the ifs and buts that were there in our minds are kind of wiped out. You feel happy that the world that Abhishek has created, we all enjoyed it so much while we were making it, but after that, we were a little unsure as to how people were going to respond to it. It's a great feeling to know that the response has been quite positive. A large section is actually discussing and talking about those small nuances. So that's a huge thing for all of us."
Killer Soup has actors playing characters with grey shades who are selfish and hungry for money. Going by the title, the series shows there's a murder in almost every episode. We further asked Manoj how he approached his characters without letting his own mortality interfere with the performance. To which the actor stated, "I keep my own morality away from my performance completely, or the characters. I think it's too much; then you are really stopping the character from moving. Stopping the growth means the immediate deaths of the performance and the immediate deaths of the decision to take it. It's very difficult for many of the actors. It's very difficult; it's not an easy thing to do. But the character that is given to you is part of the story. Once you realise that you have to give it all without even judging or questioning the elements of the character. Once you know how to do it, you're letting the character grow and completely opening up about the character's elements from all perspective. It's very essential for every actor to keep their own priority away from the actor."
"I feel if this is becoming a little darker, then let me find some element of a human being in it. That is the job of an actor to know—to really find those grey areas in all the actors that you play, no matter how good or bad they look from outside—something you have to find somewhere," the actor added.
Talking about the strong reactions and social media discourse on actors playing negative characters without any remorse, Manoj went on to say, "A few of these people will react extremely strongly to it; that's 10%. They will definitely, because for them, it's a shock to their own mortality and a shock to their own viewing habit. They will react differently, but that should not stop you from choosing it in the future."