After the release of Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya in 1998, Manoj Bajpai was without a film for nearly nine months. The character of Bhiku Mhatre — considered one of the greatest in Indian cinematic history — didn’t help him secure a steady foothold in Bollywood. Because, he was considered more as an offbeat cinema actor.
The year 2012 has a different story to tell. As he readies for the release of his next, Anurag Kashyap-directed Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW), Bajpai is juggling shoots of Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh, Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala and Neeraj Pandey’s Special Chabbis.
The hectic schedule that Bajpai follows today is a result of the “dependable actor” tag he has earned. “You can count on him to do his homework for the character and also be punctual on the sets,” says award winning director Jha, who is working with him for the third time in a row, after Raajneeti and aarakshan.