Manoj opens on being 'a tough nut'

Be it 'Padma Shri', national awards or critical acclaim, Manoj Bajpayee's journey has had these high points. But that does not mean he got it all easy. The actor shared his experiences of the time when he finally let go of the box-office obsession that almost all actors have.

"It happened before 'Pinjar' (2003). When such a great film did not see that kind of footfall in theatres and not even nominated at any mainstream award functions, it put the truth right in front of my eyes. No matter whatever I will do, or what I have been trying to do, these people are not going to award or recognise me and the audience is somewhere not interested in watching the films I do, so I am on my own," confessed the 51-year-old.

The actor added, "I could see that I was sliding down. I have used those low phases of mine in bettering my craft and myself as an actor and person. Yes, it was a phase where I was not getting offers, but somewhere my resolve was a hundred percent."

'Star' might be a tag that has come to be attached with him, but he revealed, "They called me all sorts of things and people have done so much of back biting and pulling down. Only people close to me know that I am a tough nut to really pull down."

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