From ‘Bhiku Mharte’ in ‘Satya’ to ‘Babu’ in ‘Road,’ from ‘Sardar Khan’ in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ to ‘Ganpath Bhonsle’ in ‘Bhonsle,’ and now winning hearts as ‘Srikant Tiwari’ in ‘Family Man,’ Manoj Bajpayee, has never ceased to amaze and mesmerize the audience with his effortless yet sophisticated acting. Manoj Bajpayee was accoladed with the National Award for Best Actor for his film ‘Bhonsle.’ He was also awarded the Filmfare OTT awards for the Best Actor in a Drama Series.  NewsX’s special series NewsX A-List recognised Manoj Bajpayee for his excellent and unforgettable performances in the entertainment industry.

The sequel of his very successful show, ‘Family Man,’ was released after a long wait by the fans excited to watch the second season of the series. “It’s quite overwhelming for me. Getting so much love from the audience is quite unprecedented and historic. We can still not digest the way the show and the character of ‘Srikant Tiwary’ is being received by the fans and audience,” said Manoj on how it has been like since the National Award and the success of Family Man. He added, “The RAW agents we talked to, and the agents who had written to us, the love and appreciation given by them was unimaginable. People have seen this 10-episode show in a matter of two days. Many of them are watching it twice or thrice. We’ve been fortunate and blessed to be very honest.”

Manoj Bajpayee is very interactive with his fans. He replies to their messages regularly on social media. “A unique thing that happened with this show was that I catered to an audience which I had never catered to, which is the audience aged between 11-14. Getting appreciated and love by this group of audience is very new and exciting for me. When I started acting, the art of it is what made me excited and still keeps me driven to put out good content for the people who watch me,” said Manoj talking about how surprised he was to capture the attention of that segment of the audience. “I am very thankful to Rajan DK for giving me the space to reach out to that segment,” he added. After the massive success of Family Man 1 & 2, all the binge-watchers and fans of the show are anxiously waiting for Season 3. Putting the minds of such viewers at rest, he said, “People have to understand that in this one year, people hardly worked. The second season was supposed to come in the previous year, but it got postponed. We are still to dub the show in vernaculars. Rajan DK does have a further story in mind, but a lot goes into making the show. So, I believe it will take almost two years before the next season comes out.”

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The movie buffs are eagerly waiting for the pandemic to end so that they can again enjoy buckets of popcorns in the theatre. On being asked if he would be working on both the theatres and OTT platforms, Manoj Bajpayee said, “I will be working on both the mediums. I feel we need more mediums. There is a plethora of talent out there looking to work. More options will give birth to more choices, and this is what talent wants. Earlier, only a few people used to work in films. Now it has been overshadowed by many new stories, actors, and directors. But OTT is very demanding in the sense that it requires pure skill and knowledge of art when creating content of OTT.” He also added, “Going to theatres will be one of the ways people will feel the freedom of going out without any worries. Theatres will fire up again, but the cinema will never be the same after the OTT has become mainstream. OTT will be a parallel force for the cinema to deal with.”

Manoj Tiwari won a national award for his film ‘Bhonsle.’ Recalling the time he got the award, he said, “I was sleeping when I got the award. I had hundreds of messages on my phone. At first, I thought that there had been another attack because the same thing happened when 26/11 happened. When I opened my phone, then I got to know about the news of the award. I was shocked, but it was a delightful surprise. It took four years-worth of struggle and hard work to make this film. The award for ‘Bhonsle’ was least expected as I had lost all hope to get an award.”

The Black Swan Event, the Pandemic, was an unfortunate time for the world. But Manoj, being the guy he is, looked at the positives in the situation. He said, “One thing that came across very strongly was an ambience of helplessness all around the place, The scenario was heart-breaking, but the silver lining in this was that at a time of crisis, the entire country became one. Everyone was helping each other, be it for beds, oxygen, or medicines. I had never seen such visuals in my entire life. It made me feel so proud belonging to this country.”