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Home»News»Manoj Bajpyee talks about success on OTT, fans digging out his old work: '13-year-old children are celebrating my performances'»

Manoj Bajpyee talks about success on OTT, fans digging out his old work: '13-year-old children are celebrating my performances'

  • PTI

  • Desimartini

Last Updated: 05.58 AM, Aug 05, 2021

Manoj Bajpyee talks about success on OTT, fans digging out his old work: '13-year-old children are celebrating my performances'

Actor Manoj Bajpayee says he is thrilled that his success on digital platforms has made audiences, especially the younger generation, eager to explore the work he did in the 1990s and 2000s.

In a film career of spanning over 25 years, Bajpayee has been lauded for his performances in movies such as "Satya", "Shool", "Raajneeti", "Gangs of Wasseypur" series, "Aligarh" and "Bhonsle".

With the advent of streamers in the country, viewers know him mainly for playing the intelligence agent Srikant Tiwari, the lead character in hit Amazon Prime Video series "The Family Man", the success of which opened the doors of the digital world to him.

He has also featured in original films on streaming platforms like ZEE5's "Silence... Can You Hear It?" and Netflix's anthology "Ray".

The actor said that his popularity in the web space has made a section of the audience rediscover his talent.

"Now, 13-year-old children are celebrating my performances, so that's the new audience I have been able to reach out to. The audience base has expanded, thanks to OTT (over-the-top) platforms. The successes I have seen on OTT, from 'The Family Man', 'Ray', 'Silence', these projects have been watched by people across the world," Bajpayee told PTI in an interview.

It is "exhilarating, overwhelming and humbling", the actor said, that audiences have started watching his early films.

"They are going back, trying to dig up all the work I have done. From 'Satya', 'Shool', 'Kaun', 'Zubeida' to even 'Gali Guleiyan', 'Aligarh' and 'Bhonsle'. It's exciting," the National Award winner added.

The 52-year-old actor is now gearing up for yet another project on a streaming service.

He stars in the ZEE5 thriller "Dial 100", scheduled to be released on the platform on August 6.

Directed by Rensil D'Silva, the film follows events of one night, when police officer Nikhil Sood (Bajpayee) receives a call on the police helpline from a woman, played by Neena Gupta, who wants to commit suicide.

Bajpayee said what fascinated him about "Dial 100" was that the film was not restricted to being a thriller.

"It also explores the emotional side of a father. He can't call himself a successful husband or a father. But on this one night, his role as a father and a husband is completely questioned. He has to prove himself all over again. He has just a few hours to do that," he added.

"Dial 100", which also stars Sakshi Tanwar, features Bajpayee as a man in uniform, following such roles in films like "Shool", "Satyameva Jayate", "Special 26", and "Baaghi 2".

For him, portraying a cop is not about donning a uniform and delivering dialogues, but always about the "person I am playing", the actor said.

Bajpayee noted that he approaches all his characters with sincerity, never trying to do an ordinary job, even if the audience isn't able to catch it.

"When you are working, don't try to finish your shot. You should try to improve yourself, find new ways of doing things to project your character, which others may not notice, but you do it for yourself, to better your craft.

"As an actor, I am invested in how deep I can get while performing a role or understanding the character. It is far more important than my character being celebrated," he added.

The actor said his career choices are guided by an unflinching belief in his gut.

Bajpayee said he had a sense of clarity right from the outset in the mid 90s to stick to his conviction, even at the cost of staying at home with no work.

"I have always believed I am here to listen to my heart. My conviction in myself was stronger than what people were expecting me to do. I was ready to sit at home but not succumb to somebody else's vision about me.

"In that process, you offend some people who feel bad that you chose not to be a part of their projects, but as long as you are convinced about what you want to do, there's nothing like it."

After he first shot to fame with the 1998 cult classic "Satya", the actor recalled being flooded with advice on how to navigate his career.

"People told me after 'Satya' to do whatever films I was getting. I was told being busy is something extremely important in this industry. I am so glad I didn't take the advice because that helped me remain not only grounded and real but also reinvent myself.

"It helped me to not succumb to those choices, make money and vanish in five years," Bajpayee added.