Q&A WITH MANOJ BAJPAYEE

Hav­ing played iconic char­ac­ters such as Bhiku Mha­tre and Sar­dar Khan, Manoj Bajpayee will now be seen as an ev­ery­day spy in Ama­zon Prime’s new web show

India Today - - CONTENTS - The Fam­ily Man

Q. You have taken your time to do an OTT show…

I see a lot of OTT shows, and in the clut­ter of con­tent, I re­alised there’s un­nec­es­sary vi­o­lence and sex to get eye­balls. The mak­ers are all fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar story tem­plate. I am not against show­ing in­ti­macy or vi­o­lence on screen, but I have to agree with the in­ten­tion of the film­maker. The story has to have some in­tegrity. Then Raj and DK [film­mak­ers] hap­pened to me. Q. In The Fam­ily Man, you play a man who is in con­trol at work but dom­i­nated at home…

This is a first-hand ac­count. No mat­ter how much you achieve or how much peo­ple re­spect you, once you go back to your place, it’s ghar ki murgi dal barabar. My ef­fort was to show that an In­tel­li­gence agent is as nor­mal and as mid­dle class as any of us. There’s no James Bond strut­ting about here. Q. It’s also not ev­ery day that we see you do­ing com­edy… Un­less you do an out-and-out slap­stick film here, they don’t con­sider it com­edy. Bhiku Mha­tre [Satya] and Sar­dar Khan [Gangs of Wassey­pur] don’t fit a con­ven­tional def­i­ni­tion of com­edy, but they still make you laugh. I can make you laugh with­out mak­ing an ef­fort to make you laugh.

—with Suhani Singh Q. There’s talk of in­tro­duc­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for on­line con­tent. Your thoughts? It is great as long as there is no cen­sor­ship. On­line con­tent has be­come par­al­lel to the film ex­pe­ri­ence. But di­rec­tors and pro­duc­ers should be ul­tra­respon­si­ble. Some­times we don’t re­spect our free­dom and that’s when we fal­ter.

SHIVAM SAXENA/ GETTY IM­AGES

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