While the debate around nepotism remains centre stage in Bollywood, Manoj Bajpayee has opened up his journey from being a farm boy who didn't have ''the ideal hero face'' to one of the most sought after actors in the film industry.

In a recent interaction with Humans of Bombay, the Gangs of Wasseypur recalled about his early days, when even a bun seemed costly and paying rent was difficult.

He even had suicidal thoughts and only pulled through that low phase on account of his friends.

Bajpayee started off by claiming that he knew acting was his destiny from the tender age of nine, reported  The Indian Express. ''I'm a farmer's son. I grew up in a village in Bihar with five siblings and we went to a hut school.

We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we'd go to the theater. I was a big Amitabh Bachchan fan and wanted to be like him. At nine, I knew acting my destiny.''

But Bajpayee, recently seen in Bhonsle, could not afford to pursue his passion for acting then and continued with his studies. It was only after he shifted to Delhi to study at  Delhi University that he followed his passion by stepping into theater.

Though people in his hometown called him good-for-nothing, the versatile actor ''turned a blind eye to them.''

He then applied to National School of Drama and was rejected thrice. ''I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me and not leave me alone.

They kept me going until I was accepted. That year I was at a Chai shop when Tigmanshu came looking for me on his broken scooter. Shekhar Kapur wanted to cast me  Bandit Queen! I felt I was ready and moved to Mumbai,'' shared Bajpayee.

And so, the actor ended up living in a tiny space with five others and looking for work but to no avail. ''Once, an AD tore my photo and I lost three projects in a day. I was even told to ''get out'' after my first shot.

I didn't fit the 'ideal hero' face so they thought I'd never make it to the big screen. All the while, I struggled to make rent  and at times, even a vada pav was costly. But the hunger in my stomach couldn't dissuade my hunger to succeed.''

It was only after four years of hard work and struggle that Bajpayee managed a role in Mahesh Bhatt's soap opera Sawbhimaan, which aired on  Doordarshan. I got INR 1,500 per episode - my first steady income. I was noticed and offered my first Bollywood film and soon, I got my big break with Satya, he reminisced.

Lucky for Bajpayee, all of his hard work paid off in the end : ''That's when awards rolled in. I bought my first house and knew that I was here to stay. About 67 films later here I am. That's the thing about dreams; when it comes to turning them into reality, the hardships don't matter.

What matters is the belief of the nine-year-old Bihari boy and nothing else,'' he concluded.

The World Students Society thanks News Desk, The Express Tribune.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!