CS speaks to Manoj Bajpai about his image, career and turning producer.
Nobody asks Al Pacino or Robert De Niro as to why they aren’t doing diverse roles. I don’t understand the notion of diversity being a benchmark of excellence in acting in Bollywood. I don’t feel the need to do a romantic or a comedy just to prove that I am a fine actor. I am a serious actor because I take my job seriously and deliver the goods.
Donning the producer’s hat
I want to produce films but my over-commitment to acting is what’s stopping me from going ahead. I can’t take up a task for a lark. Even if I get a two months break from acting, I will produce a film. As for the kind of films I will produce, I am not one to bank scripts but am keen on seeing what these new directors have on mind.
Prakash (Jha) and I are not of the same age to be friends but do we share a comfort level. We have high expectations from each other. I can’t take our rapport for granted. I don’t know whether I will work with him again because I live for today and it goes against my personality to think whether we will work in the future. I was humbled when Nawaz (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) called me ‘the best actor in the country’. I took it as a compliment because it came from someone like him.
Biwi Ho Toh Aisi
Shabana (Neha) is a hands-on mother and she’s doing a great job of bringing up our three-year-old daughter Ava Nayla single-handedly. I don’t get much time to devote to Ava. She’s one of the best-looking women around, and is intelligent as well. I am really trying to get her to take a break from her routine and do an acting assignment. I am dying to act with her too, it will be fun bringing home to the sets. Yes, I do miss Shabana as she cannot accompany me on my shoots because of the baby.