I was close to committing suicide. Manoj Bajpayee

The debate of nepotism sparks more aggressively after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. Many celebrities open up about their struggle, how they faced nepotism, the phase of depression while making their mark in the acting world. Versatile actor Manoj Bajpayee also narrated his days of struggle and how he had suicidal thoughts.  

He started off by sharing how he wanted to be an actor from the age of 9. “I’m a farmer’s son. I grew up in a village in Bihar with 5 siblings. We went to a hut school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theater. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny.”

He said that he had suicidal thoughts when he was rejected thrice at National School of Drama, “I was close to committing suicide, so my friends would sleep next to me and not leave me alone. They kept me going until I was accepted. That year, I was at a chai shop when Tigmanshu came looking for me on his khatara scooter. Shekhar Kapur wanted to cast me in Bandit Queen! So I felt I was ready & moved to Mumbai,” shared Bajpayee.

After shifting to Mumbai, Manoj Bajpayee shared a chawl with five others and started looking for work but got no roles. Talking about his initial days of struggle, Bajpayee said, “Once, an AD tore my photo & I’ve lost 3 projects in a day. I was even told to ‘get out’ after my 1st shot. I didn’t fit the ideal ‘hero’ face–so they thought I’d never make it to the big screen. All the while, I struggled to make rent & at times even a vada pav was costly. But the hunger in my stomach couldn’t dissuade my hunger to succeed.”

After four years of struggle, the 'Satya' actor bagged a role in Mahesh Bhatt’s soap opera Swabhimaan that aired on Doordarshan. “I got Rs.1500 per episode–my first steady income. My work was noticed & I was offered my first Bollywood film & soon, I got my big break with ‘Satya’,” Bajpayee recalled.

Lastly, Manoj Bajpayee shared how all his hard work paid off in the end. “That’s when the awards rolled in. I bought my first house & knew…I was here to stay. 67 films later, here I am. That’s the thing about dreams–when it comes to turning them into reality, the hardships don’t matter. What matters is the belief of that 9-year-old Bihari boy & nothing else,” he concluded.