Known for unconventional roles in Bollywood films, Manoj Bajpayee is a 52-year-old actor. His performance made him the recepient of several awards namely three national film awards, five filmfare awards and two Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Second among the five children of Radhakant Bajpai, Manoj Bajpai was born on 23 April 1969.
In the small village of Belwa, Bihar, the actor was born in a family of farmers. Not being financially well, he studied in a “hut school” till the fourth standard and later continued at Khrist Raja High School. He used to engage himself in farming during his holidays but always aspired to be an actor. After completing his higher education from Maharani Janaki Kunwar College in Bettiah, He moved to Delhi at merely seventeen. There he enrolled in Satyavati University, Following which he got into Ramjas College, Delhi.
The second phase of his education began when he heard of the National School of Drama and decided to enrol there for a theatre degree. After facing three rejections from NSD, Manoj Bajpai became restless and began getting suicidal thoughts. Further, at the suggestion of Raghubir Yadav, he attended Barry John’s workshop, during which John got impressed and made him assistant in his teaching. Finally, gathering all his courage again, he applied to NSD for the fourth time, and this time, they offered him the position of teacher instead of a student.
Manoj Bajpai’s career began with his one-minute role in the film Drohkaal of 1994. Following which he got a role in Bandit drama – a biographical drama. After struggling and getting several small parts, Bajpai caught the attention of the great director Mahesh Bhatt. He offered him a daily soap Swabhimaan which streamed on Doordarshan. Next to which, he appeared in various minor roles in movies such as Dastak, Tamanna.
Manoj Bajpayee’s Breakthrough took place with his prominent role in the film Satya. Shot in the slums of Mumbai, The film featured him as a gangster. As a result of his excellent performance, the film gained immense positive reviews. In between all of which, Anupama Chopra writes while remarking Manoj’s performance,” so good that you can almost smell the Mumbai grime on their sweaty bodies.”
Along with winning National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor, his performance got listed among “Top 80 Iconic Performances”.
Following the period of career struggle from the years 2002-09, Manoj bajpai did back to back super hit films. The film Pinjar released in 2003, made him win National Film Special Jury Award.
The film Rajneeti brought out Manoj Bajpai brightly in the year 2010. It was a commercial success and gained the actor critically positive reviews. The times of India, while mentioning about Manoj Bajpai writes, ” grabs eyeballs in his scenes” and “brings back memories of his mesmeric performances”.