Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@htlive.com

He might have missed out on a third Na­tional Award this year, but be­ing over­looked has only made actor Manoj Ba­j­payee’s (right) ded­i­ca­tion to act­ing stronger. De­spite carv­ing a niche for him­self in Bol­ly­wood, he doesn’t feel con­tent with the body of work he has built in his ca­reer span­ning over 21 years.

“I feel I haven’t even started out in the in­dus­try. This is not a flam­boy­ant state­ment, it is a state­ment from a per­son who feels he should have utilised 75 per cent of his tal­ent by now. The actor in me still feels that I am us­ing only 25 per cent of my abil­ity. I am con­stantly look­ing for­ward to work­ing with a new di­rec­tor, good nar­ra­tive, por­tray­ing new unique roles and that is why I feel this way,” says Ba­j­payee. The 47-year-old actor, who made an im­pact with his char­ac­ter of Bhiku Mhathe in Satya (1998), went on to do char­ac­ter-driven films such as Ra­jneeti (2010), Gangs of Wassey­pur (2012) and Ali­garh (2016). He be­lieves a lot has changed in the film in­dus­try in the past five years.

He says, “I have given my 100 per cent to ev­ery project but in the past five years things have changed dras­ti­cally and they have changed for good. So you feel that it is the best time to be a part of the film in­dus­try and give as much as you can.”

Ba­j­payee main­tained a dig­ni­fied si­lence af­ter his film Ali­garh did not win at the 64th Na­tional Award, de­spite a lot of peo­ple from within the in­dus­try and out­side root­ing for the film. “Whether you are okay with it or not, you have to ac­cept the [award] judg­ment, which has come out and move on from there. You can’t base your life on any award in this coun­try. It’s all about mov­ing on and wait­ing for the next op­por­tu­nity. This is not the last year of my life,” says Ba­j­payee.

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