‘I don’t ex­pect awards’

Manoj Bajpayee says award ju­ries have their own agenda in the film in­dus­try

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Entertainment - Henna Rakheja ■ hen­narakheja@hin­dus­tan­times.com

He’s a risk-taker, ded­i­cated to his craft and quite in­sen­si­tive to crit­ics and ju­ries. The ver­sa­tile ac­tor

Manoj Bajpayee (right) says, “I’m not that hope­ful about get­ting hon­oured in this in­dus­try be­cause we have too many do’s and don’ts.”

In Novem­ber, Bajpayee won the Best Ac­tor Award at the 10th Asia Pa­cific Screen Awards in Bris­bane, Australia, for his per­for­mance in film­maker Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh (2015). On not get­ting some of the ma­jor awards in In­dia, he says, “I’m the first In­dian to get this in­ter­na­tional award. Ev­ery set of jury comes with their own agen­das in this in­dus­try. So, you can’t ex­pect any award. When the jury’s agenda is purely to give away the award on the ba­sis of ex­cel­lence then I’ll start ex­pect­ing. But here, each and ev­ery set of ju­ries favour one pol­icy one year and an­other the next year. You can just keep do­ing your work.”

He adds that the sub­ject of Aligarh ex­cited him, right from the word go. “Aligarh is a spe­cial film, not only be­cause it’s con­sid­ered a clas­sic but given the fact that in a coun­try where ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is il­le­gal and crim­i­nal, a film like it cre­ated so much de­bate,” he ex­plains.

Some be­lieve he took a risk by tak­ing up the role of a ho­mo­sex­ual univer­sity pro­fes­sor but the ac­tor doesn’t think so. “I’m just too much of a rebel. At times it scares me but that’s in my DNA. I keep chal­leng­ing my­self and rais­ing the bar for my own self. It gives me a high to put my­self in a risky sit­u­a­tion. But when I come out as a win­ner, it gives me a lot of sat­is­fac­tion.”

PHOTO: WASEEM GASHROO/HT

A still from Aligarh

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