'Asaram Bapu's followers should first watch my film, they will change their views', actor Manoj Bajpayee tells Rajat Sharma on Aap Ki Adalat

The Manoj Bajpayee-starrer 'Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai' features a courtroom drama in which the star acts as a lawyer, fighting against a godman accused of raping a minor.

Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee has appealed to followers of jailed godman Asaram Bapu to watch his film first, before opposing its release. "Please see my film first, I think, you will change your opinion", said Bajpayee. The Manoj Bajpayee-starrer 'Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai' features a courtroom drama in which the star acts as a lawyer, fighting against a godman accused of raping a minor. Asaram Bapu is currently serving a life sentence, and his charitable trust has appealed to the court to prohibit screeinng of the film, describing it as 'highly objectionable' and 'defamatory'.

When Rajat Sharma asked what will happen if a boycott call is given, Manoj Bajpayee replied: " "Bahut achha hai, zyada lok aayenge dekhne ke liye" (It will be better, more people will come and watch the movie). When Rajat Sharma said, already there is a controversy over the trailer, and Asaram Bapu's men have sent legal notice, Bajpayee replied: " I don't know why they filed a case. We didn't name anybody (in the movie)". Manoj Bajpayee said: 'This movie (Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai) is one of my best films. Do watch it."  It is directed by Apoorv Singh Kharki and Bajpayee plays the role of advocate P. C. Solanki.

Asked by Rajat Sharma whether it was he who decided who will direct the movie, Bajpayee replied:  "Look, most of the things do not happen because of me. It's the producer who decides. I told the producders Vinod Bhanushali and Suparna, I liked the story, but who will direct it. They said, you decide. They also said, you decide who the writer will be. Director Apporv Singh Kharki is a young man who did a good show on YouTube."


Asked about his earlier remark that he wanted to make money and intends to do 50 movies in the next ten years, Manoj Bajpayee said: "Ab Bahut Din Ho Gaye Bhookmari Ke (I have endured too many days of starvation). The good thing is,  my movies don't take more than 40 days to complete. 'Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai' was done in 35 days. 'Gulmohar' took 34 days to complete. Others who make big films take 70-80 days to 100-150 days. My movies are mostly story-based and character-centric. Others make good money by making movies in 100 days, I earn in 40 days. It's sufficient for my living. 'Paisa zyada ho toh kitna zyada pata nahin, uska toh koi definition nahin, lekin kam paisa ka zaroor definition hai". (There is no definition for huge earnings, but less money has a definition).


Manoj Bajpayee spoke about his quarrels with various producers and directors. "I did not speak to Anurag Kashyap for 11 years, but the reason was different. Once he became angry. It was he who ran, and I followed him to give him a beating." Rajat Sharma: You also once ran after Tigmanshu Dhulia carrying a brick? Manoj Bajpayee: "Ab chhodiye...Jawaani ki kuch galtiyan, uske baare me kya baat karen (Forget it please, why to speak about my mistakes when I was young)"

Rajat Sharma: Hansal Mehta. He said, you once rang him up from the US and showered abuses. You didn't speak for six years? Manoj Bajpayee: Ji Sahi Hai. Sweekar Hai. Maafi Maangta Hoon. (Yes, I admit. I apologize)

Rajat Sharma: Anubhav Sinha, you abused him when you were offered only Rs 2000 per episode? Manoj Bajpayee said, Let me describe. Anubhav Sinha was doing a serial. I was to work as a dumb right-hand henchman of a mafia gang leader. It was the role of a dumb. The producer promised to pay Rs 4000 per episode. I did four episodes and the amount came to Rs 16,000. That was in 1993, when I hardly had money for my living. I went to the producer, he said, he was fooled. This was the role of a dumb and I had no dialogues to deliver. Why should Rs 4000 per episode be paid, he said. I told him, one has to toil a lot to do the role of a dumb. He said, I'll pay you only Rs 1,500 because you had no dialogue. I told him keep this money with you, consider this as my donation. I threw his cheque in his office and walked out. I rang up Anubhav Sinha. He said, he is the producer, what can I do. I became angry, and told him, you are my good friend but  you did not take a stand for me." Rajat Sharma: What about those whom you chased with bricks? Manoj: Kuch Nahin, Daaru Peekar Ladhai Ho Gayi Thi. (It was nothing, a quarrel after too much drinking)


Manoj Bajpayee revealed how he  rang up Naseeruddin Shah in the middle of the night to praise his acting, and said, "Naseer Bhai, I Love You, Sir".  "For me, Naseer Saab is like the God of Acting. I love his acting when I watch his movies. Once, after drinks with my friends, I rang him after watching one of his movie scenes. To express my love. When I said, I love you Sir, he replied: "Manoj Miyan, Kitna Pee Chuke Ho?" (Manoj, how many pegs have you taken?)


Manoj Bajpayee recounted how Tabbu once touched his feet at a film set. "This was Tabbu's style of showing her appreciation. And Katrina Kaif did the ultimate. She touched my feet in front of the full media...She was so glad, overwhelmed, for working with me (in Rajneeti). We do not have a single scene together. She loved my performance. She felt very glad. Rajat Sharma: She was glad, and what did you do? Manoj Bajpayee:  "Thodi Sharmindagee Hui. Itni sundar heroine, woh aakar pair chhoo rahi hai aapke. Woh pahle hi aap buzurgwaar ho gaye"  (I felt shy. Such a beautiful heroine touching my feet. She made me feel like an old man too soon).

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