When beginning a new project, Manoj Bajpayee experiences insomnia, saying, “I want someone can put a camera inside my brain and witness how sad I am.”

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For thirty years, Manoj Bajpayee has worked in the motion picture industry. For his outstanding performances, he has received three National Awards and numerous other film honours. Even so, the actor experiences insomnia throughout the first ten days of filming his movie or television show.

Bajpayee said to Baradwaj Rangan of Galatta Plus regarding the first few days of a shoot, “I have to work hard on every role just to answer myself and to be true to myself. The first 10 days are challenging. Even after all these years, I still keep my anxiety, anxiousness, and insomnia to myself. But it’s intellectually taxing and tiresome for me until I discover the character’s spirit. I wish someone could just sneak a camera into my head and record how anxious and miserable I feel from the moment we start prepping until 10 days after the shoot is scheduled to begin.

Manoj Bajpayee also discussed his debut movie, Drohkaal, in the conversation. He appeared onscreen alongside Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah in the film. Additionally, Bajpayee’s knees felt “frozen” because he was in the same shot as the illustrious performers. He was immediately willing to take on a minor role in the movie since he was so impressed by the two stars.

Bajpayee explained his decision to act in Drohkaal by stating that it was his first picture to be shown in Bombay. I went to Govind Nihalani in the hopes of landing a prominent role in one of his movies, but by the time I got there, all the roles had already been filled. He left it up to me to decide if I really wanted to take on that role, and I did so because I got to work with Govind Nihalani and meet Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.

Manoj Bajpayee recalls being soothed and indulged by Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah despite getting sick on the day his shot had to be filmed. He also recalls that the two actors were curious about Bajpayee’s acting style because they were aware of his collaboration with Shekhar Kapur on Bandit Queen.

Bajpayee went on to say that Puri and Shah are two of the greatest actors in the world. We have a tendency to exclusively refer to Hollywood stars as the best actors, but if you consider their performances, they are on par with anyone, he added. And it was Bajpayee’s encounter with Shah and Puri that helped him see the distinction between “excellent actors” and “stars.”

“What is so fantastic about outstanding performers is that they are absolutely different from stars,” the actor argued. They are not afraid to sit down and converse with new actors about their lives and work. They are more eager to absorb knowledge gained from the experiences of others. Celebrities are more reserved and constantly protect their privacy. Actors like Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah weren’t. Every time I call, Naseeruddin Shah still picks up the phone.

Manoj Bajpayee also gave some thought to his prior remark about how odd it is to concentrate on a movie’s box office haul rather than the talents of the people who made it.

“My issue is that most portals merely talk about the footfalls as though the money is going into their bags,” Bajpayee remarked. In my opinion, you should either talk about the performers, the director’s vision, the cinematography, and the sound, or you should approach the crowd and ask them about the movies they enjoyed. We avoid discussing the practise of artists. We discuss a movie’s financial success. You don’t have to give me a penny-for-penny breakdown. But let’s honour those associated with it who have sacrificed blood and sweat to create what they have.