Manoj Bajpayee is one talented star who is known across the globe for his roles in films like Satya, Shool, Aligarh and more. The actor, who hails from a small village called Belwa near the city Bettiah in West Champaran, Bihar, recently opened up about growing up in a conservative village and their views of acting when he was a child.
While narrating how they used to regard actors, Manoj also opened up about sneaking away to watch plays and more. Read on to know all he shared.
While interacting with fellow actor Sayaji Shinde on the Bol Bhidu YouTube channel, Manoj Bajpayee recalled watching a ‘naach’ performance secretly. He also added that now he has earned fame in the theater circuit for playing exactly the same kind of character that would have been ridiculed by his community when he was younger. He said in Hindi, “We used to have the Ram Leela in our village, and the part of Bihar that I’m from, acting was not a very respectable profession back then. call it ‘bhaand’.”
Manoj Bajpayee continued, “I couldn’t even say that I wanted to become an actor. I couldn’t do plays after school, couldn’t do the Ram Leela. My family was so conservative, I was once trying to whistle, and my uncle came and whacked me from behind. I couldn’t be myself. I had to sneak around to even watch plays.” The actor further added “We have this artform called ‘naach’, in which a man performs as a woman, because women weren’t allowed to perform. But the men who’d do naach were considered effeminate, or gay. They called it ‘launda naach’. I used to sneak out to watch it.”
He also added that years later it was these same performances that were looked down upon that earned him fame. He said, “The kind of nauch performances that I used to watch secretly as a child, afraid that I’d get caught, I got fame and confidence thanks to that art form.”
Manoj Bajpayee has come a long way and is respected by many for his work in Indian films.
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