For Manoj Bajpayee, his films going to international film festivals, garnering acclaim, is nothing new for him anymore. This time, it’s his next Joram, which will have it’s world premiere at Big Screen Competition section at the 52nd edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
He says, “This is an opportunity for the film to stamp in the beginning of it’s journey itself. It’s shaped up very well, and the way Devashish (Makhija, director) also spoke about the film, I am very proud. He started his journey with me (with the film Bhosle; 2020), and is showing the nation what kind of a filmmaker he is.”
He continues to place his belief in small and independent productions, and not just stick to big films. Bajpayee shares smaller films are doing better than big ones today. “Small banners are the ones who are doing well. Big banners don’t guarantee good content. I look for directors and writers who are pivotal,” he makes it clear.
First screening often evoke a feeling of nervousness among actors but the National Award winning actor shares his mantra about how he feels when his film is shown to audiences for the first time. The 53-year-old states, “I mean, at the cost of sounding arrogant, I would say that the festivals and awards, these are all the by-product of the work that one does. But eventually, when you are doing it, you are doing it only to give justice to the character that we are given to do. I try to do that to the best of my ability, and then after that, I don’t think much about all of these things. I do enjoy these festivals, but to say that I expect anything out of it… I don’t. I expect a good experience and to have fun.”
Does he feel the pressure of it, that when his name is attached to any project expectations are sky high? Does he think about this aspect when he chooses a film? The actor says, “My pressure doesn’t come from outside, I don’t take it. I love this craft, and I just want to do stuff which really excites, challenges me, and helps me to grow as an actor.”