Took inspiration from Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha for ‘Bhaiyya Ji’: Manoj Bajpayee

PTI, May 11, 2024, 5:27 PM IST

Actor Manoj Bajpayee says he drew inspiration from the megastar Amitabh Bachchan as well as his contemporaries Shatrughan Sinha and Vinod Khanna to play a massy hero in his upcoming film “Bhaiyya Ji”.

The revenge action film is directed by Apoorva Singh Karki, who earlier directed the actor in the critically-acclaimed movie “Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai”.

In the movie, the actor is playing the titular role, a man out to avenge his brother’s death.

“I grew up watching commercial films and all the big stars of that time, they were all my inspiration, be it Shatru ji (Shatrughan Sinha), Vinod Khanna ji, Amit ji (Amitabh Bachchan) or Jeetendra Sahab and all of them. It happened subconsciously. I knew that I had to do certain things to make him look attractive on screen. So that everyone would like to be a figure like Bhaiyya Ji.

”He is an inspirational force. The audience should look up to him. So that is why I got all of those mannerisms in playing Bhaiyya ji,” Bajpayee told PTI in an interview.

As a child, the actor said, whenever he watched a mainstream action film, he used to feel like a hero.

“This is what a commercial film does to the audience. The adrenaline rush, the excitement, the energy flow. Everyone starts feeling like a hero when they come out (of a theatre). This is the purpose of a good commercial film,” he said.

When it comes to labels like superstar or action star, Bajpayee said he considers himself a ”desi actor”.

“I am definitely a desi actor… I desire our culture, villages and the story of our soil should come in the mainstream cinema. Our heroes should look like us, not from some western country. We need to make good films with good stories and that need to be rooted in our culture,” he added.

Bajpayee said he has done majority of the action sequences and credited action choreographer Fefsi Vijayan for pushing him as an artiste.

“It has been a very difficult film to shoot because most of the action scenes are done by me. Fefsi Vijayan, who is such a legend from the Tamil industry, is the one who was a tough taskmaster. He wanted Manoj Bajpayee to do all the actions and he was not ready to compromise at all… I’m so happy that he pushed me hard because everything is looking so amazing on the screen.”

“Bhaiyya Ji” is the 100th film of Bajpayee’s career, which is filled with some of the most critically-acclaimed movies of the last two decades — ”Satya”, ”Shool”, ”Raajneeti”, ”Gangs of Wasseypur”, ”Aligarh”, ”Gali Guleiyan”, ”Bhonsle”, ”Sonchiriya” and ”Joram”.

An “item song” is often considered an important ingredient of a commercial movie but Karki was against the idea of having one in ”Bhaiyya Ji”, the actor revealed.

”We don’t have any item songs. There are many stereotypes that we are breaking. Most of the commercial films and mainstream films, women don’t have much to contribute. The women of this film are as strong as Bhaiyya ji. They are not your usual heroes and heroines. And the mothers on the screen, they are very different,” he added.

Reaching the 100 film milestone is nothing short of a miracle for Bajpayee, the 55-year-old actor said.

“I never counted as I don’t believe in it. But somehow Apoorva found out and the producers tried to make it an occasion. 30 years and 100 films, that too in the lead roles or as second lead, it has been quite a feat for me.

”It’s a miracle that coming from outside, thousands and thousands of kilometres away, from a village and accomplishing this has been quite a journey. ‘Bhaiyya Ji’ in that sense is a special film,” he said.

Also starring Suvinder Vicky, Jatin Goswami, Vipin Sharma, and Zoya Hussain, ”Bhaiyya Ji” is a Bhanushali Studios Limited, SSO Productions, and Aurega Studios production.

Vinod Bhanushali, Kamlesh Bhanushali, Samiksha Oswal, Shael Oswal, and Vikram Khakhar also serve as producers on the film, slated to be released in theatres on May 24.

By Supriya Sogle

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