The National Award-winning actor, who will be seen playing coach Biranchi Das in upcoming biopic Budhia Singh Born To Run, is grateful to his mentors for spotting his talent and encouraging him to become an actor.
Like his character of the coach, who rescued wonder boy Budhia from one of Bhubaneswar’s most notorious slums and helped him achieve incredible heights, Manoj considers Varma and John as Biranchi Das of his life who helped him achieve his goal of showcasing his acting skills on the big screen.
“Budhia Singh Born To Run is a tribute to my mentors Ram Gopal Varma and Barry John. They have played a very important role in shaping my career as an actor. It was their conviction and belief in me that really made me think I can act. Without their support, maybe I wouldn’t have reached where I am today,” Manoj said. After a few unnoticed roles, the 47-year-old actor played gangster Bhiku Mhatre in Varma’s 1998 crime drama Satya, which proved to be a breakthrough film in Indian cinema. Thereafter he went on to do films like Kaun, Shool and Road with RGV. The actor hopes everyone finds someone who would spot their talent.
“I want every Budhia to get his Biranchi Das (coach) early in his life to spot the talent and support him, nurture it and push him to achieve greater goals in life,” Manoj said. Directed by Soumendra Padhi, Budhia Singh Born To Run will release in cinemas on August 5.