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The Reason Manoj Bajpayee Doesn’t Watch His Own Films

With three National Awards and many critically-acclaimed films to his credit, Manoj Bajpayee says he is still looking for stories and roles that are extraordinary and explore an untapped side of the actor in him. Manoj Bajpayee, who has created a niche with many memorable projects across medium such as Satya, Shool, Raajneeti, Aligarh, Gangs Of Wasseypur movies and The Family Man series, said his search for unique roles is always on. “I’ve been lucky to get really good offers. I want to go beyond that and look for more interesting, extraordinary scripts and stories which people have not seen or witnessed. Roles that are nowhere close to anything I have done. The search is always on and as the saying goes, it is always about your choices,” Manoj Bajpayee told PTI in an interview.

The actor admits that despite being in the business for many years, he still cannot predict the mood of the audiences beyond the fact that “they need a good story that can engage and entertain them”. “And if it is not doing both, they will immediately reject it. They are unpredictable.

After working hard with extreme honesty, you can only pray for the success and wish the film to connect with the audience,” he said.

Calling himself someone who is critical and not easily satisfied by what he does, Manoj Bajpayee said, he rather looks forward to the next idea. “Usually, I don’t watch my films, but there are times when I have to. At the time of the second one (season or sequel), you have to watch the first one just to be reminded of what all you’ve done and what are the elements of the characters that you have to bring in all over again. When I watch it, I am critical. I feel I could do better in many places. But what’s gone is gone at the end of the day,” he added.

The actor, 54, will be seen next in Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout, the sequel to his 2021 film Silence…Can You Hear It. He is reprising the role of ACP Avinash Verma in the sequel, directed by Aban Bharucha Deohans, who also helmed the first part.

Manoj Bajpayee praised Deohans as a “perfectionist”, who will never start a film if she is not completely ready. “She is not somebody who would like to go on the set just because there is a franchise which is greenlit by the platform. Both of us were clear about it,” he said. The film also features Prachi Desai, who is returning as Inspector Sanjana.

The actor, known for movies such as Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Rock On!! and Azhar, called the experience of working with Manoj Bajpayee “absolutely priceless”.

“Even if you enroll yourself somewhere, you will never get the same kind of learning. Just being around him and observing him, that in itself was nice. There are things about (his acting) that come back to you later. It’s amazing and beautiful. He makes us feel comfortable. He’s just the nicest person to be around,” Prachi Desai said.

Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout also features Parul Gulati, Sahil Vaid and Dinkar Sharma. Produced by Zee Studios and Candid Creations, the movie will premiere on ZEE5 on April 16.

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