Manoj Bajpai

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Manoj Bajpayee
Manoj Bajpai.jpg
Manoj Bajpayee in 2010
Born (1969-04-23) 23 April 1969 (age 46)
Narkatiaganj, Bihar, India
Other names Manoj Bajpayee
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Neha (Shabana Raza) (2006–present)

Manoj Bajpayee (born 23 April 1969), also credited as Manoj Bajpai, is an Indian film actor who works predominantly in Hindi cinema, Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema.[1] He has received praise from many critics for his acting performances in Indian Cinema, most notably for his roles as dacoit Maan Singh in Bandit Queen, Raghavan in Aks, Bhiku Mahatre in Satya, Rasheed in Pinjar, and Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur.[2] His work has been recognised by several Filmfare awards as well as multiple National Film Awards.

Early life[edit]

Manoj Bajpayee was born in a small village of Bihar on the border of Nepal called Belwa near the town Narkatiaganj in West Champaran.[3] He completed his basic education from Khrist Raja High School in Bettiah. He then went to Satyawati College first after then he took migration to Ramjas College, Delhi University where he studied and graduated in history. After being rejected four times at the National School of Drama, he did theatre with Barry John at Barry's Drama School.[4]


Bajpayee at 92.7 BIG FM Studio in 2011 to promote Aarakshan

Bajpayee worked as a teacher at Salaam Balak Trust in Delhi.[citation needed]

He started his career with a television serial aired on Doordarshan, Swaabhimaan. The same serial also brought Tyagi (Ashutosh Rana) and Rishab (Rohit Roy) into the limelight.

Bajpayee also appeared in a small role as a cop in Dastak (1996) where he shared screen space with Mukul Dev and Sushmita Sen. He played the main lead in Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! opposite Tabu after Aditya Srivastava. He appeared in several small roles in films like Droh Kaal (1994), and Bandit Queen (1994), before getting his big break in the 1998 crime film Satya directed by Ram Gopal Varma. His performance as Bhiku Mhatre won him several awards, as he portrayed the hotheaded and compassionate sides of this gangster. Another film where he played a dark character was Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's film Aks in 2001, for which again he won several awards.

His work was also appreciated in films like Daud: Fun on the Run (1997), Shool (1999), Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000) and Zubeidaa (2001).

Bajpai's sole release of 2002 was Road, a road thriller co-starring Vivek Oberoi and Antara Mali. He played the antagonist Babu, a hitchhiker who turns to be a psychopath killer, after getting a lift from the couple.[5] Bajpai received another Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role, for the film.[6]

Pinjar (2003), a period drama, set during the partition of India, was Bajpai's first release of the year. Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the film was based on a Punjabi novel of the same name.[7] He received the National Film Special Jury Award for his performance in the film.[8] He then portrayed the role of Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav in J. P. Dutta's ensemble war film, LOC Kargil.[9] It was based on the Kargil War, and Bajpai was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for it.[6] Both the films were commercially unsuccessful.[10]

Bajpai's next roles were in Jaago (2004) opposite Raveena Tandon, Makrand Deshpande's Hanan and the thriller Inteqam.[11] In the former, he played the role of a police officer who takes the situation in his own hands, after his 10 year-old daughter is raped and killed.[12] He then appeared in a supporting role in Yash Chopra's romantic drama Veer Zaara (2004). The film was screened at the 55th Berlin Film Festival, and grossed over 940 million (US$14 million) globally, becoming the highest grossing film of the year.[13][14]

In 2005, Bajpai acted in Dharmesh Darshan's drama Bewafaa, the thriller Fareb, and the english language film Return to Rajapur.[15][16][17] He also acted in the telugu romance Happy (2006).[18]

In 2007, Bajpai had three releases. 1971, where he portrayed the role of Major Suraj Singh, who is one of the six soldiers of Indian army, who escape from the prison where they were held by the Pakistan Army, during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[19] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN, criticised the film but wrote: "[Bajpai] in great form, he holds back mostly and in the process, constructs a character that says more with his eyes than with words."[20] He next starred opposite Juhi Chawla, in Ganesh Acharya's drama film Swami.[21] Bajpai's final release of the year was the anthology film Dus Kahaniyaan. He acted in Sanjay Gupta-directed story Zahir alongside Dia Mirza.[22] All of his 2007 releases were financial failures. Next year, he starred in the ensemble comedy Money Hai Toh Honey Hai (2008), which was also a box-office disaster.[10]

Bajpai's shoulder got injured while filming the telugu film Vedam, and was out of screen for nearly two years.[23] He then returned in a major role with the comedy Jugaad (2009), which was based on the 2006 Delhi sealing drive incident.[24] His next release was the mystery thriller Acid Factory (2009), which was remake of the hollywood film Unknown (2006).[25] He portrayed the comic role of Sultan, a man who is the part of the group of people kidnapped and locked in a factory with no memory. The film didn't do well at the box-office.[26] The string of financial failures continued with his next release.[27] Madhur Bhandarkar's Jail (2009), where he played the role of Nawab Khan, a convict who is serving life imprisonment. He called his role as "narrator" and "mentor" of its protagonist Parag Dixit (Neil Nitin Mukesh).[26][28]

In 2010, Bajpai starred in Prakash Jha's big-budget ensemble political thriller Raajneeti. It was inspired by the Indian epic Mahabharata. Bajpai's role was of Veerendra Pratap Singh (based on the character of Duryodhana), a greedy politician, who considers himself the rightful heir of an political dynasty. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India in her review mentioned that Bajpai "..grab eyeballs in [his] scenes" and "..brings back memories of his mesmeric performances".[29] The film proved to be a major commercial success with worldwide earnings of over 1.43 billion (US$22 million).[30] Bajpai received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at Filmfare for the film.[31] He then acted in two telugu films :Vedam (2010), and Puli (2010); followed by the comedy Dus Tola (2010).[32] He also provided the voice of Rama, in the animated film Ramayana: The Epic, which was based on the Indian epic Ramayana.[33]

Aarakshan (2011), a socio-drama based on the issue of caste based reservations in Indian, was Bajpai's next film. The film was banned in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh before its theatrical release, on fears that certain scenes and dialogues in the film may inflame the passion of some communities.[34] The Supreme Court later lifted the ban from it in Uttar Pradesh.[35] Bajpai's followup was the thriller Lanka (2011).[36]

In 2012, Bajpai had three consecutive releases. He first played the role of Sardar Khan in Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur. The film was a two-part crime saga, centered on the coal mafia of Dhanbad with the story spanning from the early 1940s to 2009. To prepare for his role, Bajpai did not interacted with anyone of his co-stars during the shoot for 15-20 days; and said that he "..had to unlearn the craft".[37] It premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival,[38] Toronto film festival,[39] and the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.[40] Gangs of Wasseypur released in India on 22 June to positive response. Anupama Chopra, giving the film 3 out of five stars reviewed: "This is undoubtedly Bajpayee's best performance since Bhiku Mhatre in Satya."[41] For his performance in the film, Bajpai was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.[42] His next film was the historical drama Chittagong, based on the Chittagong armoury raid. Bajpai played the role of the Bengali independence fighter Surya Sen, for which he charged no money.[43] His final release of the year was Chakravyuh, where he played the role of a Naxalite. To prepare for it, Bajpai lost 5 Kilogram weight.[44]

In 2013, Bajpai had five releases: Samar, his Tamil debut film, was the first release. He appeared in a supporting role in the film.[45] He then appeared in Neeraj Pandey's heist thriller Special 26. Based on the 1987 Opera House heist, the film met with positive reviews from critics. Sukanya Verma in her review mentioned: "There’s the smashing Bajpayee with his penetrating gaze and attractive dynamism who spells more than words with his sardonic laughter and request for ‘Chulloo bhar paani.’".[46] It was followed by the crime film Shootout at Wadala, where he played the role of Zubair Imtiaz Haksar. A character inspired from gangster Shabir Ibrahim Kaskar.[47] Bajpai then collaborated with Prakash Jha for the fourth time in Satyagraha. The film was loosely inspired by social activist Anna Hazare's fight against corruption in 2011,[48] featuring an ensemble cast the film was highly anticipated by trade journalists due to its release coinciding with the Mumbai and Delhi gang rape public protests.[49] Satyagraha received little praise from critics and earned 675 million (US$10 million) domestically.[50] Bajpai then provided the voice of Yudhishthira for Mahabharat, a 3D animation film based on the Indian epic of the same name.[51]

In 2014, Bajpai played the antagonist in the Tamil action film Anjaan.[52]

Bajpai again portrayed the negative role of a faction leader Gajendar Singh, in Tevar (2015). A remake of the 2003 Telugu film Okkadu, the film opened to negative reviews and was a box-office failure.[53][54] The same year, he along with Raveena Tandon, appeared in the patriotic-themed short film Jai Hind. With a run-time of 6 minutes, the film was released on YouTube by OYO Rooms, right before the Independence Day.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Manoj Bajpayee is married to actress Shabana Raza in April 2006, formerly known as Neha.


National Film Awards
BFJA Awards
Filmfare Awards
Zee Cine Awards
Star Screen Awards


Year Film Role Notes
1994 Drohkaal Anand Uncredited
1994 Bandit Queen Dacoit Maann Singh
1995 Swabhimaan Sunil Television serial
1996 Dastak
1997 Tamanna Salim
1997 Daud: Fun on the Run Pushkar
1998 Satya Bhiku Mahatre Winner, National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Winner, Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
1999 Prema Kadha Sankaram Telugu film
1999 Kaun Sameer A. Purnavale
1999 Shool Inspector Samar Pratap Singh Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated–Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2000 Fiza Murad Khan
2000 Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! Ram Saran Pandey
2000 Ghaath Krishna Patil
2001 Zubeidaa Maharaja Vijayendra Singh
2001 Aks Raghavan Ghatge Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
2002 Road Babu Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role
2003 Pinjar Rashid Winner, National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention
2003 LOC: Kargil Gren. Yogender Singh Yadav Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
2004 Hanan Pagla / Shamsher
2004 Jaago Inspector Kripa Shankar Thakur
2004 Veer-Zaara Raza Sharazi
2004 Inteqam: The Perfect Game ACP Uday Dhirendra Thakur
2005 Return to Rajapur Jai Singh
2005 Bewafaa Dil Arora
2005 Fareb Aditya Malhotra
2006 Happy DCP Arvind Telugu film
2007 1971 Major Suraj Singh
2007 Swami Swami
2007 Dus Kahaniyan Saahil
2008 Money Hai Toh Honey Hai Lallabhai Bharodia
2009 Jugaad Sandip
2009 Acid Factory Sultan
2009 Jail Nawab
2010 Puli Al Saleem Telugu film
2010 Vedam Raheemuddin Qureshi Telugu film
2010 Raajneeti Veerendra Pratap Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
2010 Ramayana: The Epic Rama Animation film
2010 Dus Tola Shankar Sunar
2011 Aarakshan Mithilesh Singh
2011 Lanka Jaswant "Ravan"
2012 Chittagong Masterda Surya Sen
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 Sardar Khan Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2012 Chakravyuh Rajan
2013 Samar Rajesh Arunachalam Tamil film
2013 Special 26 CBI Officer Wasim Khan
2013 Shootout at Wadala Zubair Imtiaz Haskar
2013 Satyagraha – Democracy Under Fire Balram Singh
2013 Mahabharat 3D Film Yudhisthir(Voice-over) Animated Movie
2014 Anjaan Imran Bhai Tamil film
2015 Tevar Gajendar Singh
2015 Jai Hind Short film
2015 Aligarh Ramchandra Siras Post production
TBA Traffic Constable Ramdas Godbole Post production
TBA Saat Uchakkey Pappi Jatwaala Post Production
TBA Missing Sushant Filming
TBA Duronto Biranchi Das Filming


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  56. ^ 69th & 70th Annual Hero Honda BFJA Awards 2007

External links[edit]