New Delhi: Actor Manoj Bajpayee is the recipient of two National Film Awards and India's fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri, but he stills considers himself a common man from Bihar who has to keep working hard to survive in a dream city like Mumbai. The actor, who turned 50 on Tuesday, feels that he still has a long way to go.
"I am not Padma Shri Manoj Bajpayee. I am Manoj Bajpayee, an outsider who saw dreams and stayed on the fringes of Mumbai and worked day and night to get work. For my contribution to Hindi cinema, I was felicitated with Padma Shri. I am happy to get such an honour but it does not mean I will stick around it only," Manoj told IANS in a telephonic interview.
"It is important to move on from the laurels of the past. I can't let success go to my head. These awards inspire me to do more hard work each day. There's a lot more to do. I am still exploring," added the actor, who completed 25 years in the Indian film industry earlier this year.
On hitting the golden jubilee of his life, Manoj said: "I do party every year but it used to be small. This time, it would be a little big. I will invite my colleagues from theatre and film industries."
He started his film journey with a blink-and-miss role in 1994's film "Droh Kaal". His initial journey in Bollywood was full of struggle and hardship. But it was his dedication that helped him make a mark in his career. He rose to fame with his role of a gangster in "Satya" and later featured in hit films like "Shool", "Zubeidaa" and "Pinjar".
Looking back at his struggling days, Manoj said that with time he has become more calm as a person.
"I am a completely different person now. Now I know how to channelise my anger and how to deal with odd and uncomfortable situations. Struggle teaches you a lot of things and I am happy that I witnessed a roller coaster ride. The journey has improved me as a person and made me more mature."
On the work front, Manoj is now looking forward to the release of his web show "The Family Man".
Talking about the web space, Manoj said: "I just hope each and everyone is doing justice to the content in the thing that they are making instead of looking at opportunities to make money.
"Digital era is getting bigger day by day. It's a good thing that a lot of new talent is getting consumed but it is important that we should do complete justice to the content," he added.