Gali Guleiyan actor Manoj Bajpayee: I prefer independent films to mega budget projects
The widely acclaimed and awarded actor believes independent movies allow him a certain freedom
Manoj Bajpayee, who features in first-time director Dipesh Jain's Gali Guleiyan – the gritty trailer of which came out on Saturday – says he has always chosen independent movies over big budget entertainers as it is his comfort zone.
It is the content that attracts him to films, says Manoj after receiving the Best Actor award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) for his performance in Gali Guleiyan.
"I have done many films with all the newcomers. Though I have had the choice of working with all the established ones, I chose all these filmmakers over so-called established filmmakers and chose these independent films over the offers of mega budget films because this is what I always wanted to do, and this is what I feel comfortable doing," adds Manoj.
The widely acclaimed and awarded actor believes independent movies allow him a certain freedom.
"This is where I feel I can express myself, I can utilise myself, and somewhere I feel I can break so many limitations of mine while doing these films. And though these films have not fetched the big numbers, these are what I have made a career out of.
"So, today it has been over 20 years in this industry and I am doing what I wanted to do. Films like Gali Guleiyan, Aligarh, Gangs of Wasseypur, I would say God is giving me all the right things for me to feel proud of myself," says Manoj.
Gali Guleiyan, boasting of some of the best technicians including many Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winning/nominated artists, was completed at top Hollywood facilities like Fox studios, Light Iron and Skywalker Sound.
"It all started with an email and this film has reached here. Sometimes, God is really kind and pushes right things towards you and it is upto you to mark those as right things and grab it. These words have just been true," philosophises Manoj while talking about the film that will release in theatres worldwide on September 7.
The trailer underlines Manoj's heart-wrenching portrayal of a man (named Khuddus) trapped within the walls and alleys of Old Delhi and his own mind. He attempts to break free to find a human connection.
The film, which has travelled to several film festivals and won accolades, features an ensemble cast of actors like Ranvir Shorey, Neeraj Kabi and Shahana Goswami, along with debutant child actor Om Singh. Shot entirely on locations, Gali Guleiyan is directed by the Los Angeles-based Jain.
Referring to this character as one of his most complex roles, Manoj says, "The film promises to be an immersive cinematic experience, where the audience will themselves feel the psychological aspects of the story," he said in a statement.
For Jain, the film is in many ways an ode to his growing up years in the alleys of Old Delhi, "to my personal fears and a feeling of entrapment that I had experienced as a child".