The character of Bhiku Mhatre changed Manoj Bajpayee‘s career. Not only did the film make him famous, but he also received several awards for his performance as the Mumbai gangster. However, the film’s popularity also meant that filmmakers only offered him parts as a villain after the film came out. The actor held firm and rejected all the lucrative offers and held out for the kind of parts that he wanted to do. (Also read: Manoj Bajpayee returned to his chawl 6 months later, saw 10 people living there: ‘One was Tigmanshu Dhulia’)
Besides Manoj, the Ram Gopal Varma film also starred JD Chakravarthy, Urmila Matondkar, Saurabh Shukla, Aditya Shrivastava, and Paresh Rawal. The film was written by Saurabh and Anurag Kashyap. Ahead of the release of his upcoming film Gulmohar, the actor spoke about how the film made him famous. He recalled a mall visit in which the security couldn’t contain the fans who wanted to meet ‘Bhiku Mhatre’.
Speaking with Kamiya Jani for a joint interview on Sunday Brunch and The Bombay Journey, the actor said he was adamant that he won’t take up any villain roles and stayed without work for a long time. He said in the YouTube interview, “After Satya, the industry looked at me as a new villain. I kept saying I won’t do villain [roles]. After Satya, I was out of work for eight months.”
While he went through periods of doubt, he held firm. He added, “I had a lot of offers and they were all opposite superstars as a villain. But I had thought of something else. It was tough to say no to that much of money and work. I didn’t have both before Satya, and I was saying no to both after Satya. I didn’t know whether I was right in doing that.”
After Satya, Manoj worked with Ram again in Kaun (1999) and Road (2002). The actor also got a chance to lead a few films such as Shool (1999), Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000), and Aks (2001).
Manoj is also known for his work in films like Raajneeti (2010), Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 (2012), Special 26 (2013), Aligarh (2016), and Sonchiriya (2019). He was last seen in the Zee5 thriller Dial 100 in 2021. His next film Gulmohar, with Sharmila Tagore, Simran, and Suraj Sharma, will be released on March 3 on Disney+ Hotstar.