Manoj Bajpayee on lack of recognition: Even National Awards jury has ignored a few great films I’ve done

Renowned actor Manoj Bajpayee was felicitated with the prestigious Padma Shri award for his contribution towards Indian cinema by President Ram Nath Kovind on 11 March.

While sharing his winning moment with Firstpost, he said, “It’s a huge honor for anybody. Not only for me as an actor, it’s a great recognition for any professional or for any social worker. I have never dreamt about it. I’ve never thought about it.” The Special 26 actor further added the award was a surprise for him, “I never thought that I’ll be doing something so much remarkable in my life that it will be felicitated with Padma Shri. It came as a surprise and I’m quite humbled with the way people have responded to it.”

National Award winner Manoj Bajpayee hails from Belwa, Bihar. He has come a long way, from a brief role in Drokaal to dacoit chief Maan Singh in Sonchiriya. The actor believes that his life is an interesting ride. “It has been a roller coaster ride but I enjoyed all of it. I enjoyed the lows, I enjoyed the highs. In my case, the lows were way too many but again, I never thought that. Even in my lows, I was doing some work which will be noticed in the future.” He further added that nostalgia slows him down, and he avoids looking back and intends to look ahead.

Bajpayee has huge respect for Mahesh Bhatt as according to him, he was the one who showed faith in him and supported him, “Mr Mahesh Bhatt has been a person who has encouraged me when I was doing series Swabhimaan. He is the person who picked me up, gave me Tamanna and (has) shown a lot of faith in me”. He explained why it was difficult for him to shine in his initial career, before Satya gave him the breakthrough recognition. “In those days, it was very difficult for any filmmaker to find a suitable role for me because the time was different, and my taste and my persona was not something which could find a role very easily in the kind of films which were made. So I could easily understand the difficulty Mr Mahesh Bhatt was having, but one thing is very sure that he has never hesitated to encourage me, motivate me”.