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Bollywood

Updated on: Thursday, July 02, 2020, 12:38 PM IST

From contemplating suicide to renting chawl with 5 friends: Manoj Bajpayee shares his journey as an 'outsider'

Bollywood actor Manoj Bajypayee recently opened up about his struggling days and revealed that he had contemplated suicide, after getting rejected by National School of Drama (NSD) thrice
From contemplating suicide to renting chawl with 5 friends: Manoj Bajpayee shares his journey as an 'outsider' |

From contemplating suicide to renting chawl with 5 friends: Manoj Bajpayee shares his journey as an 'outsider' |

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Bollywood actor Manoj Bajypayee, who has contributed some stellar performances with his films, recently opened up about his struggling days and revealed that he had contemplated suicide, after getting rejected by National School of Drama (NSD) thrice. The 'Mrs. Serial Killer' actor also recalled the days when he had rented a chawl with 5 friends and couldn't even afford a vada pav.

Manoj Bajpayee told the digital catalog, Humans of Bombay, "I was an outsider, trying to fit in. So, I taught myself English & Hindi–Bhojpuri was a big part of how I spoke. I then applied to NSD, but was rejected thrice. I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me & not leave me alone. They kept me going until I was accepted."

Speaking about the constant rejections he faced in the initial days of his Bollywood career, Manoj added, "Initially, it was tough–I rented a chawl with 5 friends & looked for work, but got no roles. Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st 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 & at times even a vada pav was costly."

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“I’m a farmer’s son; I grew up in a village in Bihar with 5 siblings–we went to a hut school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theatre. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny. But I couldn’t afford to dream & continued my studies. Still, my mind refused to focus on anything else, so at 17, I left for DU. There, I did theatre but my family had no idea. Finally, I wrote a letter to dad–he wasn’t angry & even sent me Rs.200 to cover my fees! People back home called me ‘good for nothing’ but I turned a blind eye. I was an outsider, trying to fit in. So, I taught myself English & Hindi–Bhojpuri was a big part of how I spoke. I then applied to NSD, but was rejected thrice. I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me & 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 khatara scooter–Shekhar Kapur wanted to cast me in Bandit Queen! So I felt I was ready & moved to Mumbai. Initially, it was tough–I rented a chawl with 5 friends & looked for work, but got no roles. Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st 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 & at times even a vada pav was costly. But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed. After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series. I got Rs.1500 per episode–my first steady income. My work was noticed & I was offered my first Bollywood film & soon, I got my big break with ‘Satya’. That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 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 that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else.” -- HOB with @sonylivindia brings to you the story of Manoj Bajpayee, whose life has come full circle. To watch his award winning performance in Bhonsle, click on the link in bio!

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Talking about his first role in Mahesh Bhatt's TV series, he said, "But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed. After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series. I got Rs.1500 per episode–my first steady income. My work was noticed & I was offered my first Bollywood film & soon, I got my big break with ‘Satya’."

"That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 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 that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else," he added.

On the work front, Manoj Bajpayee's 'Bhosle' recently released on OTT platform - Sony LIV. Set in Mumbai, the Devashish Makhija-directed feature narrates the story of a retired police constable, played by Bajpayee, who tries to help migrants fight against local politicians.

'Bhosle' premiered at Busan International Film Festival in 2018 and travelled to several festivals before finally finding a platform for release on Sony LIV, where it is currently streaming.

For his portrayal of Ganpat Bhonsle, Bajpayee bagged his second best actor trophy at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2019.

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Published on: Thursday, July 02, 2020, 12:38 PM IST
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