It took Manoj Bajpayee a while to enter the ever growing digital space, considered to be a boon for storytellers today, and the actor says the desperation to get viewership by serving overdose of “violence and sex” kept him away from the web world.
The 50-year-old actor, who is making his digital debut with Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man, said he always wanted to start with a unique concept which had “integrity” in its narrative.
“I realised, there is a pattern that most of the shows were following. There was a pattern that was forming in front of me and that was quite scary. All the shows, no matter how different the story was, they were trying to please the audience desperately and were trying to grab the eyeballs by showing too much violence and sex.
“I realised, right now, since this medium is at an infant stage and also they (makers) don’t know what to do with this freedom, I was sure I was not going to be part of this desperation. I wanted to be part of something that was very unique and something that is not compromising and still having its integrity intact in terms of its narrative,” Bajpayee told PTI in an interview.
The critically-acclaimed performer said he was trying to “run away from that clutter” and asserted he is not against violence and sex if they are essential to the story.
“It is all about staying true to the story. For me, that is very important. I am not averse to intimate sequence or showing violence. I am averse to banning anything in life.
“But being desperate to get some eyeballs is something that I do not like. That desperation is not even there in my personality. ‘The Family Man’ goes very well with as a creative person for me,” he added.
The Family Man, an action-drama series, tells the story of a middle-class man who works for a special cell of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). While he tries to protect the nation from terrorists, he also has to protect his family from the impact of his secretive, high-pressure, and low paying job.
Bajpayee has made a mark for himself as one of the most versatile performers in Hindi film indsutry and the actor said switching between mediums is not a struggle.
“Your acting will never change. You will always be an actor no matter which platform you are acting on. It gives you the freedom in terms of length, in cinema it is about two-and-half-hours of time frame.
“There is no chance of being indulgent or there is no opportunity to explore your character in great detail in cinema, no matter how great the character is. But in a web-series, there is time to explore so many other facets of a character and scenes and that is so flattering for an actor like me,” he said.
The National Award-winner added all he craves for is creative satisfaction and exploring new dimensions as a performer.
“An actors job is not to look at the platform. If the web platform is giving you an opportunity to explore new dimension as a performer and giving you the freedom to work on your skill you should do it. I have done short films because of that despite they not paying a single penny but I have done that.”
The Family Man will premiere on September 20.
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