When Manoj Bajpayee’s Satya was halted due to producer Gulshan Kumar’s murder: ‘The uncertainty was depressing’

It was the 1998 gangster film that gave a major break to Manoj who went on to feature in films like Shool (1999), Kaun? (1999) and Aks (2001)
When Manoj Bajpayee’s Satya was halted due to producer Gulshan Kumar’s murder: ‘The uncertainty was depressing’

Manoj Bajpayee recently opened up about the time when his 1998 gangster thriller film Satya, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, was halted after the murder of producer Gulshan Kumar. The film told the story of some gangsters in Mumbai and after the murder of Gulshan by the Mumbai mafia, the producers of the film were scared to continue with the shoot.

Speaking about it in an interview with YouTuber Sushant Sinha, Manoj said, “When I got Satya, I didn’t tell anybody. Not even my roommate and friends in Mumbai. I was always paranoid that the movie might get cancelled, which is what briefly happened. Gulshan Kumar was murdered five days after we began shooting. The film was halted because the producer got scared. Gulshan Kumar’s murder was a huge incident in the industry, and we were making a movie about the Mumbai mafia. The producer got so scared, he shut it down. Our careers, which were just about to begin, were brought to an abrupt halt.”

However, director Ram Gopal Varma found a different financer a week later. Manoj added, “Ram Gopal Varma found financer Bharat Shah. And then filming began again. That one week was very difficult for us all. None of us had any idea what to do. Satya was our only hope. That uncertainty was very depressing and frustrating. I had decided that I would not lose hope until Ram Gopal Varma says, 'It's over; this film won't be made now.' But he never said that, he would only say that we are pausing temporarily. After eight days, we got the good news that we are restarting the film.”

Satya gave Manoj a major break in the Hindi film industry, and he later went on to feature in films like Shool (1999), Kaun? (1999), and Aks (2001). He was recently seen in the action-thriller Bhaiyya Ji, which marked his 100th film.

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