Manoj Bajpayee was 'close to committing suicide' after NSD rejection and then 'Bandit Queen', 'Satya' happened

Manoj Bajpayee recently spoke about his journey to Bollywood from a village in Bihar. He shared the story of his struggle, rejections that he faced, and how his life changed post 'Satya', for which he also received a National Award.

Manoj Bajpayee was 'close to committing suicide' after NSD rejection and then 'Bandit Queen', 'Satya' happened
Image Courtesy: Instagram/@bajpayee.manoj

New Delhi: Actor Manoj Bajpayee, who has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood with his performance in some highly-acclaimed films, recently spoke about his journey to Bollywood from a village in Bihar. In a 'Humans Of Bombay' post, he shared the story of his struggle, rejections that he faced, and how his life changed post 'Satya', for which he also received a National Award.

"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. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny," Manoj Bajpayee says as he narrates his story.

The actor adds that he "couldn't afford to dream" and hence continued with his studies, but his mind refused to focus on anything but acting. He left home at 17 to join Delhi University (DU). 

While studying Manoj Bajpayee did theatre and later, he wrote to his father. He recalled, "My dad 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."

"I was an outsider, trying to fit in. So, I taught myself English & Hindi - Bhojpuri was a big part of how I spoke," the 51-year-old actor said. 

Manoj Bajpayee further said he had suicidal thoughts after he was rejected from the National School of Drama, but his friends stood by him like his pillar of support. 

"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," the 'Satya' actor explained. 

He further shared how he fetched a role in 'Bandit Queen' and then decided to move to Mumbai. Post the film, he rented a chawl, looked for work but got no success. 

"Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st shot. I didn’t fit the ideal ‘hero’ face - so they thought I’d never make it to the big screen. All the while, I struggled to make rent & at times even a vada pav was costly," Manoj Bajpayee said.

"But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed. After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series," he added.

It was after the TV show, he got noticed and got a role in Ram Gopal Varma's 'Satya'. 

"That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 67 films later, here I am. That’s the thing about dreams–when it comes to turning them into reality, the hardships don’t matter. What matters is the belief of that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else," Manoj Bajpayee signed off. 

Read the full post here:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“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. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny. But I couldn’t afford to dream & continued my studies. Still, my mind refused to focus on anything else, so at 17, I left for DU. There, I did theatre but 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. I was an outsider, trying to fit in. So, I taught myself English & Hindi–Bhojpuri was a big part of how I spoke. 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. 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. Initially, it was tough–I rented a chawl with 5 friends & looked for work, but got no roles. Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st shot. I didn’t fit the ideal ‘hero’ face–so they thought I’d never make it to the big screen. 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. After 4 years of struggle, I got a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s TV series. I got Rs.1500 per episode–my first steady income. My work was noticed & I was offered my first Bollywood film & soon, I got my big break with ‘Satya’. That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 67 films later, here I am. That’s the thing about dreams–when it comes to turning them into reality, the hardships don’t matter. What matters is the belief of that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else.” -- HOB with @sonylivindia brings to you the story of Manoj Bajpayee, whose life has come full circle. To watch his award winning performance in Bhonsle, click on the link in bio!

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

Besides 'Satya', Manoj Bajpayee is credited with films such as 'Shool', 'Aks', 'Pinjar', 'Veer-Zaara', 'Raajneeti', 'Gangs of Wasseypur' and 'Aligarh'. 

He recently starred in 'Bhonsle'.