Manoj Bajpayee had once said, “I don’t think any star would like to be in my shoes, there is just too much frustration and misery there.” But today, he is the man of the moment with his release Family Man 2 on Amazon Prime and we are all waiting for the release of the third season. Bajpayee thinks that the pandemic has been a great teacher. In conversation with Oultlook's Lachmi Deb Roy, he talks about the success of Family Man 2, difficult times in the entertainment industry and more. Excerpts:
On the success of Family Man 2
Family Man has just released and we are enjoying the massive acclaim that the series is getting. The entire team is very happy and exchanging happiness with each other and importantly generously complementing each other.
On ‘Shrikant Tiwari’
Family Man 2 opens a new chapter in Shrikant Tiwari’s life. In Season 2 there are many Tamil actors as Samantha Akkineni who will be knocking you up with her dedication and sincerity. The challenges that she has taken up in the series are brilliant. In the Second Season, Shrikant Tiwari is giving a lot of importance to his family life. His life is moving, but he remains a family person. His life has moved to a different zone and to a conflict area.
How was the preparation of Family Man 2 different from Family Man Season 1?
In Season 1, we were introducing the character. So, Shrikant Tiwari was in all his elements. His relationship with his children, wife and colleagues was established. But in Season 2 he is carrying too much mental baggage. The family that he wanted to keep together is slipping away. Here he has joined the task force and has been given one of the toughest tasks this time. Season 2 for me has taken quite a toll physically and mentally. But in the end, I am happy that people have loved my work and they are showering praise on Season 2.
Your family’s response to the series Family Man 2
My family is always happy for my success. If any work of mine gets a good response from the audience they feel proud about it because they know how much I love the work that I do. Family Man Season 2 became such a cult, at the end of the day all of us in the family wanted to see each other happy. For my daughter, she is a big fan of all the other actors in the series other than me. She loves Shreya Dhanwanth and Sharib Hashmi. It will take some time for her to understand the kind of films I have done.
One actor you want to see on the digital screen and why?
I would like to see Kamal Hassan in the digital space. I feel he can do complete justice to the format of the series. Also, I would like to see Naseeruddin Shah.
Lessons learnt during the pandemic
Everything: name, fame, glory, assets, ownership, attachment- all of it is unnecessary because eventually nothing comes handy when it is a matter of life and death. Materialistic things don’t really matter. What actually helps you is your relationship with human beings and your relationship with your family. This is a big lesson, not only for me, but for the entire world. The pandemic made me realise that we can live with little resources and a little is enough. All the things about extravaganza suddenly sounded unnecessary. Living with little will help us adjust with the trying times that we are living in.
On spending wisely
Nowadays actors are very conscious about the fact that the freelance work that we do is not permanent, it can go away any time. So, as many people I know all of them are very much into saving and spending very wisely. This is a thing that all of us do. We are very careful about how much we spend and invest. So, it has been a great shift from the past as earlier people used to enjoy all their earnings and live a lavish life. Sometimes, they used to go beyond their own capacity. But now I see a lot of change in the newcomers and even the established actors. They are so much into thinking about the future and the family’s wellbeing.
Difficult time for the entertainment industry
It’s a very difficult time for the film industry, not just for the actors, but for all the people associated with the film industry. I am just praying that this difficult phase goes away and things calm down and we can shoot freely without any fear. Film shooting should start and more the time it takes for film shooting to start, it can lead to more trouble for all of us. I just hope this Corona time comes to an end and each one of us can return to the sets and start earning money.
OTT as a saviour
Just imagine yourself without OTT in this pandemic time. The thought that if OTT wasn’t there is giving me shivers. There would have been absolutely no way that we could have survived. With the theatres closed down, at least OTT is giving so much work for us to sail through the trying times. OTT is indeed a saviour in the time of pandemic.