From playing Bhiku Mhatre in Satya to enacting Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur, actor Manoj Bajpai has come a full circle. As the debauched, sadistic Sardar Khan in GOW directed by Anurag Kashyap, Manoj is now delighted with the positive accolades he has been receiving for his convincing negative performance.
The outspoken yet modest Bajpai, admits the fact that he is not a mega-star who can draw the crowds with his ‘solo’ screen-presence. “It’s the volatile subject of the coal mafia and the vendetta theme, the realistic, shock-value treatment and the slick performances of the entire cast, especially Tigmanshu Dhulia and Richa Chaddha who are the surprise packages, which has helped in getting impressive initial collections at the box-office for ‘GOW we are now all set to usher in the second part of GOW around mid-August which will be equally entertaining and more identifiable since it is set in the contemporary current period,” asserts Manoj who is the ‘darling of the masses’ out there in Bihar and UP.
What is the X-factor in the role of Sardar Khan, which Bajpai found appealing?
“Its an author-backed role of perhaps the most menacing role, I have played so far. The ayyaash rustic character of Sardar with his close-cropped hair, is multi-layered. Brutally powerful, yet with his romantic sensitivity and family sentiments. There is an undercurrent of endearing humour in some of my scenes with both Richa Chadda and Reema Sen in the movie. Essentially on his flip-side, the sadistic Sardar is a family-man who is on a revenge mission.
Yet another sentimental reason was that my good friend, GOW director Anurag happens to be the ace writer of some of my previous milestone movies including Satya and Shool. If you check out Bollywood history, powerful negative characters like Gabbar Singh and Mogam-bo have had a long-term recall value. And we are optimistic, that Sardar may enter this big baddies’ league,” chuckles Manoj, who has been active in the industry for almost two decades.
Incidentally, the actor will return to square one when he plays yet another flamboyant underworld don’s character in Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming crime thriller Shootout at Wadala. Apparently, the agile Bajpai will have to dance with wild abandon during a mujra sequence in the movie. “That’s yet another classy role that I have in my kitty,” signs off Manoj.