Mumbai: Acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee believes performers and storytellers are now constantly striving to offer a unique experience as they know the viewers are spoilt for choices.
Bajpayee, regarded as one of the best actors of contemporary Indian cinema, said audience has developed an appetite for versatile stories, courtesy the plethora of content available on streaming platforms.
“The vast world of content is available on OTT platforms, which is giving audiences more options to watch from. So, as makers you are always on toes, you have to offer them something that is unique, new, the craft of storytelling should be new.
“At the same time, as actors, filmmakers, we are not taking any moment for granted. You have spent these many years in the industry, you have seen the success or recognition, so you can’t afford to take things for granted,” the actor told PTI in an interview.
The three-time National award winner said he is pleased to see the audience’s love for quality content and it motivates him to give his best as an actor.
“Things are happening the way you wanted. It is better to put yourself out there, give 100 percent, because this is the time where we talk about content (in storytelling) that we all wanted. I am very happy this time is here. I am happy to see talents really busy and enjoying their work,” he added.
“The Family Man” actor believes the digital boom happened at the right time in India and created a lot of interesting opportunities for creative people.
“Cinema halls are very few in this country and you can make (these many) films… We needed something like OTT. But we didn’t know this could happen.
“Today, OTT thing is happening so you don’t have anything to complain about. I feel so fortunate to be working at this time that there are so many options. I am enjoying myself, I am enjoying the time,” he said.
The actor is awaiting the release of his upcoming feature “Gulmohar”, which is set to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on March 3.
The family drama marks Bajpayee’s first collaboration with veteran actor Sharmila Tagore, who plays his mother in the movie.
Praising his co-actor, he said: “Sharmila Tagore ji has been very easy to work with, she knew how to put everyone at ease. She worked like a team member.”
“It was fascinating to see her getting nervous before the shot, she was giving her shot as if she was giving it for the first time,” he added.
Directed by Rahul V Chittella, “Gulmohar” revolves around the multi-generation Batra family who are set to move out of their 34-year-old family home and how this triggers a re-discovery of the bonds for each one of them, while grappling with personal secrets and insecurities.
Bajpayee plays Arun, who he describes as a conflicted man. The actor said the emotional turmoil of his character is what lured him towards the film.
“He (his character) is dealing with so many things, he is always caught up emotionally, he is somebody who is completely conflicted. He is trying to hold the sand but the sand is slipping away, the inner conflict and all of that attracted me to it.
“So, all of these aspects and the world that he (director) has written, the characters, is something that I had not been a part of. This was a great opportunity as an actor,” he said.
“Gulmohar” also features Amol Palekar, “Life of Pi” fame Suraj Sharma, Simran, and Kaveri Seth. It is produced by Star Studios in association with Chalkboard Entertainment and Autonomous Works.