B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Manoj Bajpai was born in Belwa, a small village in Bihar. He was fascinated with theatre and acting from his childhood. Though everyone write him off in his vicinity, Manoj Bajpai was determined to make it big in the field of cinema. He came to Delhi for his graduation, and learnt acting alongwith.
Manoj Bajpai kicked off his career with minor roles in off-beat films like Bandit Queen (1994) and Droh Kaal (1994). Manoj Bajpai rose to some fame with Swabhimaan, a TV serial scripted by Shobhaa De and directed by Mahesh Bhatt. This also brought him in close affinity with the latter who gave him small parts in his films like Dastak (1996) and Tamanna (1997).
Manoj Bajpai became an overnight star with Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya (1998). He played the role of Bheeku Mahatre with aplomb and stole all the applause that year. He then did Kaun (1999) and Shool (1999) where his performance was appreciated by both critics and audience. Also, his performance in Zubeidaa (2001) left the naysayers silent who thought he couldn’t carry a hero’s role. Then came ABCL’s Aks (2001) where he co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan. His performance proved that he was one of the best actors present in the country.
Manoj Bajpai has been very consistent with his performances ever since. Although he didn’t have much commercial success, His performances in all his films like Road (2002), Pinjar (2003), LOC Kargil (2003) and Veer Zaara (2004) were appreciated. By 2005, Manoj Bajpai started doing lesser no. of films. His performance in Bewafaa (2005) came for much applause. His next most acclaimed performance was in 1971 (2007)
Manoj Bajpai is busy shooting for Ganesh Acharya’s Money Hai to Honey Hai (in production), where he co-stars with Govinda, Hansika Motwani and Celina Jaitley.
Manoj Bajpai has won Filmfare Best Actor Critics’ Award in 1998 and 1999 for Satya and Shool respectively. He has also won National Award on two occasions – Best supporting actor for Satya in 1998 and Best actor for Pinjar in 2003.
Manoj Bajpai is married to actress Neha, who has worked in films like Kareeb (1998), Fiza (2000), Rahul (2001). He has also hosted a TV show for Zee TV namely Kam Ya Zyaada.