Mumbai, July 18 (IANS) Manoj Bajpai got recognition in filmdom with Ram Gopal Varma’s “Satya”, but says he will never go back to his mentor. “You will never see me doing a film with him (Varma) again. The wound that he has given can never be healed,” Manoj told IANS. Varma gave Manoj a role in “Satya” after watching him in Shekhar Kapur’s “Bandit Queen”. But the two never got along well. Manoj alleged that Varma always humiliated him during the making of “Satya”.
The final break came when Varma was casting for “Ramu Ki Aag” and met Manoj for Samba’s role. But it didn’t work out and the director said Manoj and he could never see eye to eye. The day after the meeting with Manoj, Varma signed Sushant Singh for Samba’s role. Now, Manoj has found a new friend in Bollywood’s funny man Govinda whom he met on the sets of “Money Hai To Honey Hai”. The difference in their approach to acting has not affected that friendship.
“He (Govinda) is an open hearted person and is always ready to give and take suggestions. We have developed a great admiration for each other,” says Manoj, who plays one of the lead roles with Govinda in the comedy. “We used to be always together on the sets and used to have interesting conversations,” he added. Manoj says Govinda, who made a successful comeback with “Partner” last year, is a spontaneous actor.
“It was a great experience working with him. He has a lot of spontaneity in him and to complement that one needs to be equally spontaneous.”
“Money Hai To Honey Hai” is choreographer turned director Ganesh Acharya’s second outing as director. In his directorial debut “Swami”, he had teamed up with Manoj and Juhi Chawla. Manoj claims he and Acharya share a special bonding. “Our relationship started from the time we worked in ‘Swami’ and we have become great friends. We have great respect for each other. I like his work style and feel comfortable with him.”
About the film “Money Hai To Honey Hai”, Manoj said it was an out and out comedy that tells the story of five losers in life who try to make it big. “I am playing Lalabhai, one of the losers, who tries to make it big but doesn’t know how to go about it. The story is about how he meets all the other losers, finds a purpose in life and tries to achieve it.”
Manoj, who has been associated with serious films like “Bandit Queen”, “Satya”, “Shool” and “Pinjar”, said acting is tough – be it in serious or comedy films. “I find acting difficult. People think that it is a cakewalk, but it is one of the most difficult things. “If anyone says that acting in comedy films is tougher than in serious films then I suggest that he should go to a doctor. Comedy requires spontaneity and serious films require more craft.”
Manoj’s wife Neha, who had debuted with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Kareeb” and went on to act in films like “Fiza” and “Rahul” among others, has gone back to her original name Shabana Raza. Shabana is making a comeback with Sanjay Gupta’s “Alibaug”.
Was it her decision or did Manoj inspire her? “Sanjay Gupta is a dear friend and he wanted her to be there in the film. As far as her work is concerned, she takes her own decision.”
On future projects, Manoj said he is working in Gupta’s “Acid Factory” and Anand Kumar’s humorous film on sealing of commercial establishments in Delhi, titled “Jugaad”.
The actor is also doing Prakash Jha’s “Rajniti”, which is expected to go on the floor in January 2009.