I don’t fear losing everything that I’ve earned: Manoj Bajpai on signing the risky Aligarh


There’s no denying that Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpai is a powerhouse of talent.

He may not be your typical masala film hero, but his performance in films likeShool, Satya, Pinjar, Aks, Zubeidaa and Tevar linger in public memory. It helps that his two Filmfare Awards and two National Awards have put him on everybody’s radar.

His latest film Aligarh, released on February 26, has received an overwhelming response. Critics and cine-goers, gay allies and activists hail it as a milestone movie, which brings to screen the trials of a real-life homesexual professor, Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, whose sexuality is outed through a sting operation, after which he loses his job and allegedly commits suicide.

Bajpai talks about Aligarh in an exclusive conversation with Images.

“The film is about [an incident] that took place five, six years ago and went completely unnoticed by most people [in India] and could not even make headlines,” he begins.

“When this story was narrated to me by the director (Hansal Mehta), I somehow felt here is somebody who’s been pushed into a battle, he is 64 years old, he’s reluctant and not interested in fighting. The conflict itself was the making of a great tragedy.”

Bajpai is known to seek out powerful characters, which explains why he signed on to play the beleaguered professor. What goes through his mind when he’s considering a role, we wonder.

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