Manoj Bajpayee draws parallel to Missing co-star Tabu's career; says 'an actor should do a Baaghi or a Golmaal once in a while'

Seema Sinha

Apr,08 2018 14:29:53 IST

Manoj Bajpayee turned producer with psychological thriller, Missing, that hit the screens on Friday. Though his good friend and co-star, Tabu, feels that Bajpayee is competent enough in playing both the roles well, he tends to take lot of stress as producer.

Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu in a still from Missing. YouTube

Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu in a still from Missing

“Manoj wants to give his best as an actor and puts in lot of efforts for his part but the problem is that he wants to play the role of a producer in the similar manner which is humanly impossible. You can take stress over your own performance but you can’t ensure that 200 to 300 unit members were comfortable, earning good wages and feeling happy! He takes too much of stress,” says Tabu. “But I threw so many tantrums on the sets during filming that now Manoj can deal with all kinds of harassment as a producer in the future. I have trained him,” she jokes.

(Also read — Tabu on completing 25 years in films: 'I consider strong relationships to be my biggest achievement)

And the most “difficult” part for Bajpayee as a producer was to organise a 50 -feet crane to shoot the climax scene. “There was only one such crane available in Mauritius and it was being utilised in the shoot of a Mauritian film. So to get the crane out from that location to our shoot was an achievement,” laughs Manoj, further adding, “Taking a final call was always in my hand and that was a difficult task because on one day you are playing the lead role in the film and when you are doing a scene, the executive producer suddenly starts telling you about the problem he is facing and he doesn’t know which way to go. But rest of the experience was great. Tabu is a good friend, Annu Kapoor is fine with little things in life and the film was shot in a resort with just three characters.”

But, as a producer, isn’t he anxious about the business part and money that the film will make? “Well, that part I have left to Neeraj Pandey and Vikram Malhotra (both are the presenters of the film). I have never ever been bothered about box office collection in my entire career. Most of my films didn’t do well but all those films got me lot of respect and adulation. If I am sitting here it is mostly because of all those flop films I delivered,” says National award winning actor known for his breakthrough performances in films like Satya, Kaun, Shool, Pinjar and Aligarh among several others.

Bajpayee’s confident that Missing, that unites him with Tabu after 18 years, will shock the audience. “The beauty of the film is that every character has their extreme negative side and extreme positive side which is very human. All three characters have vulnerable moments throughout. Almost every frame has a suspense element. For me, Missing is not a thriller that would frighten or shock you. There is nothing much to guess in the film. It is an intriguing film, an engaging story. It will keep you involved and you will feel part of the film as if you are also contributing or writing a story and hence, it will be a different and unique experience for the audience. Also, when you are working with Tabu and Annu Kapoor, it gives you an immense opportunity to prepare yourself and keep your game up all the time,” says the actor.

Bajpayee, who was earlier seen in roles with shades of grey in films like TevarAksSatya and Kaun, recently played a negative role in Tiger Shroff-Disha Patani-starrer Baaghi 2. The actor is upbeat about the massive box office success of the film. “I did the film for Ahmed (Khan, director, Baaghi) because he choreographed 'Sapno Mein Milti Hai' (Satya, 1998) and from there, our bonding started. Both, Ahmed and Mukesh Chhabra (casting director) had given a dharna at my place that I should do the film. And I was very happy doing it because I was made to feel like a star. Sajid (Nadiadwala, producer) is already a very successful producer but I am very happy for Tiger, and people who needed (success) the most was Ahmed especially since his first two films didn’t work. Tiger is so devoted to his skills, I have seen him work really very hard. On sets, between the two shots, he’s often seen practicing with his trainer. He deserves the kind of success he is getting,” says Bajpayee.

Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee

While Bajpayee is one of those few actors who has managed to successfully strike a balance between commercial and art-house cinema in his career of about 25 years, the critically acclaimed actor says that he never got caught in the trappings of stardom which is quite rare. So how difficult was it to stay away from stardom and popular cinema? “Look, my ambition was not to become stereotypical in my own performance. I wanted to try different genres. I was always fascinated by an actor doing different kind of roles and this is what I was chasing. So, my focus has been different from any other actor. I am not at all stuck in the trappings of the stardom or the comfort that a star gets,” says Bajpayee.

“When I shoot for Baaghi, I get lot of comfort and luxury, and while shooting for a film like Aligarh that doesn’t have that kind of a comfortable budget, I live in a very modest hotel. For me, the focus is the film, my character. I am addicted to this craft called acting and nothing else. Luxuries like booze, smoking, partying, expensive watch, fancy car... isn’t my goal. My goal is to create a body of work that people will remember me for,” he further adds.

So the mix of art and commercial will continue to stay in Bajpayee’s career plan something that Tabu has also followed throughout her journey in films. “Actors should do what they want to do and at the same time they should not take themselves too seriously. Once in a while they should be willing to be part of a Golmaal or a Baaghi. They should enjoy it thoroughly without judging that kind of cinema and try to belong to it, try to own it. We are actors. Whenever we get an opportunity to enjoy we should go all the way. The strength of an actor is that he or she shouldn't take praise seriously nor should they take criticism to heart,” concludes Bajpayee.

All images from YouTube.

Updated Date: Apr 08, 2018 14:37 PM