Offbeat actors' films have eternal shelf life

Commercial cinema may help break or set a new record at the box office when it comes to business but actor Manoj Bajpayee says such films do not have a long shelf life. Bajpayee, a two-time National Award winner, is known for playing unconventional characters on the big screen- be it his author-backed role of a gangster in Gangs of Wasseypur or his portrayal of a clever politician in Raajneeti.

He believes that working in offbeat films keeps an actor alive in the minds of the audience for a long time. "Here generally, mainstream cinema runs in theatres. And then people also watch it on TV. But after a certain point, their life gets over and that is where our film's life starts. It goes on for life," Bajpayee said.

"It keeps on travelling all around the world. So, this is the beauty of it. We're available to people to view our films for all their lives. They keep going back to our films through some recommendation or the other. This is the beauty of these films which have a long shelf life," he adds.

Bajpayee says the films of offbeat actors like him, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi and others do not have "box office weekend".

"We don't have a box office weekend. Forget Friday, Saturday, Sunday... it doesn't even start from Monday. It starts when our films leave the theatre." The actor says making crores at the box office was never in his plans and he is quite satisfied with what he has achieved so far in his 16-year-long career.

"It'd be disheartening if your dream is to be a superstar. I was very clear and practical that I wanted to be a part of this world and this is where I wanted to reach as it's the maximum I could reach in this country and I'm very happy. I get uncomfortable when I get too much attention and that itself says that I'm not this star material."

"I'd say that I just love the art of acting and being on the set and do the stuff that I believe in," said the actor.

In today's time, where most of the actors want to work with A-list filmmakers and producers in order to boost their filmography, Bajpayee believes in collaborating with first time directors and scriptwriters.

"I get motivated by the content they (new comers) are coming up with and their sheer passion to tell a story and that is why I mostly either support them or I'm a part of their project. They have some serious stuff to tell. By being a part of it, not only I'd be doing favours to myself but I'll be putting one more talent in this industry who may prove to be a game changer," he says.
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