I was sure people’s questions will be answered: Manoj Bajpayee on The Family Man 2 controversy

After much delay, the second season of the critically-acclaimed Manoj Bajpayee-starrrer web series, The Family Man, was released in June this year. The actor has been garnering a lot of praise for his performance as Srikant Tiwari, and now eyes are on what happens in season three. In a quick chat, Manoj Bajpayee speaks about the series, Family Man 2 getting delayed, the much-in-talks Suchi-Arvind Lonavala scene from the series and his dream to be in a Satyajit Ray film. Excerpts:

The Family Man 2 ended with the expectation of season three. Is the story in place or is it still being written?

The idea is there, but we don’t have a script right now. The writers and the directors know what to do in the upcoming season, but they will start writing when there is a final call from the platform.

The Lonavala Suchi-Arvind scene became quite the talking point of the season. If you had to take a wild guess, what do you think happened there?

The directors and the writers have decided to be in the shoes of Suchi [played by Priyamani], and wait for the right time to talk about it. I want to know too exactly what happened. Directors decided that if Srikant [Manoj’s character] has his own ideas, assumptions, let the audience also have them. It’s unfair for the audience to know and Srikant not to know.

The show was embroiled in a controversy. Did it worry you in any way?

I was confident that people will be satisfied once they see the final product since all of us are very responsible people. We love each and every culture of our country, that’s why it’s a truly pan-Indian show. There’s no politics here. I was sure that people’s apprehensions and questions will be answered once they watch the show. That’s why I feel the consensus is in our favour.

How challenging is it to get back to a character like Srikant Tiwari?

A character always leaves a residue in the actor’s mind regardless of how well you move on from it. I give all of myself to each and every character I play. With The Family Man, if you include the days of shooting and preparation, it is over 150 to 200 days. When the next season starts, you have to relive the character. That’s tiring and tedious to do. You need the ability to return to the character after being a part of other projects.

What was the experience like of being in a series like Ray?

Ray, for me, was all about painting a huge canvas with limited strokes and shades of colours. The role is the closest I could come to fulfilling my dream of being in a Satyajit Ray film. Students of cinema should look closely at his use of music. Ray was a musician. And the most beautiful thing about his movies is that the characters’ movements and behaviours — everything about them is so precise. He never lets even a beat go amiss.

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