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Manoj Bajpayee gets sleepless nights when he starts new project: ‘Hope someone can put camera inside my brain and see how miserable I am’

Manoj Bajpayee has won three National Awards and many other film awards for his brilliant performances. Still, the actor gets sleepless nights in the first ten days of his film or show's shoot.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
June 30, 2022 10:06:00 pm
manoj bajpayeeManoj Bajpayee finds it difficult to sleep while prepairing for his characters. (Photo: Manoj Bajpayee/Instagram)

Manoj Bajpayee has been in the film industry for three decades. He has won three National Awards and many other film awards for his brilliant performances. Still, the actor gets sleepless nights in the first ten days of his film or show’s shoot.

Talking about the initial days of a shoot, Bajpayee told Galatta Plus’ Baradwaj Rangan, “Just to answer myself and to be true to myself, I have to work hard on every character. The initial 10 days are tough. After so many years, I do not let anyone know about my sleepless nights, anxiety and nervousness. But till the time I find the soul of the character, it’s mentally hectic and tedious for me. I hope someone can just put a camera inside my brain and find out how nervous and miserable I am from the time we start preparing till ten days past the start of the shoot.”

In the interview, Manoj Bajpayee also talked about his first film to hit theatres, Drohkaal. In the movie, he shared screen space with Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. And, being in the same frame as the legendary actors left Bajpayee’s knees ‘frozen’. He was in awe of the two actors and this is why he readily agreed to do a small part in the film.

Talking about why he opted to do Drohkaal, Bajpayee said, “In Bombay, the first film of mine that was released was Drohkaal. I went to Govind Nihalani hoping to get something significant in his films but by the time I reached there, all the roles were gone. He left it to me if I really want to do that part and I chose it because I was getting to meet Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri and also because I was getting to work with Govind Nihalani.”

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However, Manoj Bajpayee fell sick on the day his shot had to be filmed, but he remembers being comforted and pampered by Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. He also remembers that the two actors were eager to know what kind of an actor Bajpayee was, since they knew about him working with Shekhar Kapur on Bandit Queen.

Bajpayee further said that he considers Puri and Shah among the best actors in the world. He said, “We have the habit of only calling Hollywood actors the best actors, but if you look at their performances, they are no less than anyone.” And, it was his meeting with Shah and Puri that made Bajpayee understand the difference between ‘great actors’ and ‘stars’.

The actor explained, “What is so great about great actors is that they are completely different from stars. They are not scared to sit with the new actors and talk to them about their life and craft. They are more interested in learning from other people and their experiences. Stars are more reserved and always guard their privacy. Actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri were not. Naseeruddin Shah still picks up my call every time I call him.”


Manoj Bajpayee also reflected on his earlier comment on the bizarre focus on the box office collection of films instead of focusing on the craft of people behind a successful film.

Bajpayee said, “My problem is most of the portals only talk about the footfalls as if the money is going into their bags. I say talk about the actors, the director’s vision, the cinematographer, and the sound or go to the audience and talk to them about what they liked in a film. We don’t talk about the craft of creative people. We talk about the money a film has earned. You don’t need to give me the account of penny to penny. But let’s give respect to creative people attached to it who have given blood and sweat to what they have made.”

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First published on: 30-06-2022 at 10:06:00 pm

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