Manoj issues challenge: Creative minds can’t be bent or broken by threats
Protests and attacks on films that espouse the liberal or divergent mindset and against directors and actors who voice their opinions on sensitive topics, doesn’t seem to have rattled Bajpayee. The Aiyaary actor believes filmmakers are born rebels, undeterred by opposition from family and society alike.
“I don’t think any creative person would be fearful enough to stop making films just because some hooligans have become a problem. They will not. Creative persons have chosen this field by revolting against the norms of the society. They have been rebellious since their childhood,” Bajpayee asserts.
“Their parents may have wanted them to become something else, doing a normal 9 to 6 job, but they opted for uncertain world of the cinema. So they are used to protests, they are used to obstructions, used to restrictions,” he reasons. “You cannot bend or break them. I don’t know of a single film or form of art that has been abandoned due to protests or opposition,” adds Bajpayee, known for stellar performances in hard-hitting films such as Satya (1998), Shool (1999), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012).
The actor, whose latest film, the Devashish Makhijadirected Bhonsle, had its first look unveiled at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, is optimistic about the future of independent cinema in India. “You can see the presence of Indian independent filmmakers and their films all over the world in various international film festivals. It is amazing. The way it has been growing multifold and in leaps and bounds, it has been amazing,” the 49-year-old says.
“I really feel that in a new place like Cannes, new filmmakers from India, [with films in] different languages, should come together and show their presence, show their strength,” Bajpayee says, adding, “And also tell the world that the Indian film industry is not only about song and dance, but also about very strong content, and has lots of creative filmmakers.”
Bajpayee does not rule out directing a film at some stage, but at present, he is focused on just acting. “At this point of time, there are some great characters and good roles to be performed, so my mind is just focused on the acting.”
Manoj Bajpayee’s Bhonsle had its first look unveiled at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival