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How Shekhar Kapur knocked some sense into ‘penniless’ Manoj Bajpayee with ‘hard questions’: ‘How will you support your family, what if you fall ill?’ | Bollywood News

2 min read

Manoj Bajpayee said that he would’ve been more than happy to return to the Delhi theatre scene after playing a small role in director Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen, but the filmmaker knocked some sense into him, and encouraged him to try his luck in the films. Manoj said that he’d become something of a ‘star’ in Delhi, but didn’t realise that theatre alone couldn’t support a decent standard of life. In a chat with his Killer Soup co-star Konkona Sensharma for Indian Express, the actor recalled the advice he received from Kapur.

He said, “Mumbai was the end-goal, but somewhere along the way, I forgot. I was enjoying myself so much in Delhi. But Shekhar Kapur, he took us all in Bandit Queen, and one night in Chambal, we were sitting an chilling with him, and then he started asking hard questions. He asked us all, ‘What are your plans after the film is wrapped?’ And all of us, in unison, said that we’ll go back and do theatre.”

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Also read – ‘Shah Rukh Khan and I were never close friends’: Manoj Bajpayee says he doesn’t cross paths with SRK any more

Manoj said that he and his fellow theatre actors, such as Raghubir Yadav and Nirmal Pandey, were taken aback by what the director said to them. “Tomorrow you’ll get married. Where will the money come from to support your family?” he asked, and the actors replied, “Who wants to get married?” Kapur prodded, “Suppose you fall sick tomorrow, you guys aren’t getting younger.” Manoj said that none of them ‘had answers to those questions’, but they got thinking. “There weren’t too many channels offering roles in TV, Doordarshan was there, but we couldn’t think of doing a small film or show on DD, because we looked down on it,” he added with a laugh.

Festive offer

Watch Manoj Bajpayee and Konkona Sensharma’s episode of Creator x Creator here –

Manoj took his director’s advice, and with Saurabh Shukla, moved to Mumbai. He didn’t immediately get the kind of offers he wanted, but his life changed after a chance meeting with director Ram Gopal Varma, who told him that he’d been looking for him after watching Bandit Queen, but had no idea who he was. RGV cast Manoj in the crime film Satya, which catapulted him to movie stardom. Manoj and Konkona will soon be seen in the dark comedy crime series Killer Soup, due out on Netflix on January 11. He was last seen in the film Joram.

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