As a nation, we’re finding it hard to move on from Sushant Singh Rajput‘s death. But we are trying by drawing inspiration from the little things in life. Today, Manoj Bajpayee‘s story of how he managed to reach where he is today is not just inspirational but also moving. The actor opened up to Humans Of Bombay about his struggling days. He revealed that he knew he wanted to be an actor ever since he was 9-years-old. But he couldn’t do anything about it because he was a farmer’s son. He only got to pursue his life long dream after he came to Delhi for college by doing theatre. Even after he came to Mumbai looking for a chance in films, he admitted that he didn’t have enough to buy a vada pav. He said there were times he wanted to commit suicide but his friends never let him out of their sight. Even sleeping with him if need be. He also talked about the harsh rejections he’s had to face saying that he didn’t have the face for a hero.
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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!
The actor was last seen in Netflix‘s Mrs. Serial Killer alongside Jacqueline Fernandez. He will soon be seen in another moving film called Bhonsle that tells the tale of a police officer that finds out he has cancer.