Actor Manoj Bajpayee looks back on 2020 and what can we expect in 2021!
How has 2020 treated you?
One way or another, I believe that no situation is extreme. Nothing is completely good or bad. What we have been through has been a year of turmoil. But I think we were lucky compared to the migrant workers on the road. I feel blessed that we were able to adjust to the lockdown and find a way out of the situation, do our meetings, our talks on the phone – thank goodness for the technology – so that most of us have been blessed. But remembering what so many migrants on the road had to face, I have the feeling that it has been a terrible year for them. I pray that everyone who has suffered will return to normal. May God give them the strength to regain their normality.
What is your greatest asset from last year’s crisis?
It is excessive greed that has caused this global crisis. It is also a warning not to take nature for granted. Water, greenery, plants and animals… don’t abuse them or you will lose them. If we don’t take this warning seriously, we are doomed. We have to move away from too much greed, pretension, glamor, ambition. Stay real. Stay connected at ground level.
We have lost so many pillars of the entertainment industry in 2020. Your reaction?
Irrfan Khan has been such a loss. We started our career at the same time. One way or another, we were connected. I can’t imagine how his family is going without him. It was tragic and shocking. He has inspired so many people with his work. Rishiji (Kapoor) just wants to leave all of a sudden when he was still a force to be reckoned with. And then just a month later, Sushant left us.
Did the death of Sushant Singh Rajput shake you?
It shook us all. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t shaken by his sudden departure. And what happened after Sushant’s death has become a correctional process for the industry. But a few months later, the debate was reversed. Special interests entered and everything got very ugly. Painting the entire film industry with the same brush was so unfair and so degrading. People who had their own agendas made the whole debate so ugly. This is where I strayed from the debate. But one thing is there. The ugliness will be forgotten.
Sushant Singh Rajput will be remembered forever. He will be missed by all of us. How do you react to toxicity on social media?
It will continue. People have access to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. They always had an opinion but didn’t know how or where to express it. Now they have the platform. They can abuse, insult or compliment. It’s their choice. We just have to live with it. I hardly use social media. I go there when I have a film to promote and then I disappear. I won’t give him two to three o’clock. I have work and family. It’s my life. Not social media. Being left out is the feeling that makes us yearn? We have to overcome it.
Your plans for 2021?
Without wanting to be shameless, I must tell you that I will be turning back to back this year. This is because of the accumulation of work last year due to nine months without work. I have spoken to my wife and daughter about my excessive workload this year and I hope they will understand. I just took them on vacation to Goa for the New Years. Now it’s work, work and more work. I hope not only to improve my profession as an actor, but also to advance Indian cinema with the films I make. I give everything. And keeping my fingers crossed.
Also Read: Manoj Bajpayee & Samantha Akkineni Perform The Family Man Season 2 Premiere on Amazon Prime Video on February 12
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