Manoj Bajpayee reveals my friends would sleep with me so that I don’t commit suicide!

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Manoj Bajpayee’s path to fame wasn’t an easy one. From Bihar to Bollywood, the Aligarh actor shared his experience with Humans Of Bombay. He explains how he knew he was made for acting , only at the age of 9.

Moreover, he adds on to say that, “I’m a farmer’s son, I grew up in a village in Bihar, with 5 siblings we went to school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theatre. I was a Bachchan fan and I wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny. But I couldn’t afford my dream and 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 my dad, he wasn’t angry and even set me Rs 200 to cover my fees! (sic).”

He goes on to say, “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, and 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 and not leave me alone. They kept me going until I was accepted (sic).”

He also shared his story on how he was casted for Bandit Queen, he quotes, “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 and moved to Mumbai. Initially, it was tough. I rented a chawl with 5 friends and looked for work but got no roles.

Once, an AD tore my photo and 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 (sic).”

Moreover, he explains, “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.

After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series. I got Rs. 15000 per episode, my first steady income.

My work was noticed and I was offered my first Bollywood film and I got my big break with, “Satya”. That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house and I know I have to stay. 67 films later, and here I am.”

The actor believes that when it comes to dreams and turning them into reality, “The hardships don’t matter. What matters is the belief of the 9-year-old Bihar boy and nothing else.”

Manoj Bajpayee is single-handedly, one of the most respected and beloved actors in the Hindi film industry. He rose to popularity after his role in Ram Gopal Varma’s, “Satya” in 1998 and was awarded the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actor in the film.

He is well known for his iconic roles in films like, Kaun and Shool in 1999, Zubeidaa in 2000 and Road in 2002.

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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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