Without a doubt, Manoj Bajpayee is one of the critically acclaimed actors in the industry. He recently revealed that he was on the verge of committing suicide, but something saved him.
The actor, who inspired to make a profession out of acting at the age of nine, faced many rejections which led to his breaking point, but the actor went on to reveal how an ‘outsider’ was spotted and brought to Mumbai, landing a film like ‘Satya’ and never looking back thereon.
Talking to Humans of Bombay, Manoj Bajpayee revealed that he, an Amitabh Bachchan fan, dreamt of becoming an actor at the age of nine.
Introducing himself, the actor said, “I’m a farmer’s son; I grew up in a village in Bihar with 5 siblings–we went to a hut school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theatre.”
Thinking that he ‘couldn’t afford to dream, Manoj continued to study, but left home at the age of 17 to pursue his dream for acting and doing theatre in Delhi University. He stated, “My family had no idea. Finally, I wrote a letter to dad–he wasn’t angry & even sent me Rs.200 to cover my fees! People back home called me ‘good for nothing’ but I turned a blind eye.”
Manoj, who was fluent in Bhojpuri, worked his way, learning English and Hindi despite the constant struggle to meet financial ends. Revealing that he was close to committing suicide, Manoj said, “I then applied to NSD, but was rejected thrice. I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me & not leave me alone. They kept me going until I was accepted.”
In the same year, Manoj Bajpayee was approached by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Shekhar Kapur to come and work in Mumbai. “That year, I was at a chai shop when Tigmanshu came looking for me on his khatara scooter–Shekhar Kapur wanted to cast me in Bandit Queen! So I felt I was ready & moved to Mumbai.”
Remembering his struggling days even in Mumbai, Manoj said that he rented a chawl with five friends, and found no work, including being told ‘get out’ after his first shot. The actor also revealed losing three projects in a day. “All the while, I struggled to make rent & at times even a vada pav was costly. But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed,” remembered Manoj.