Manoj Bajpayee has been keeping very quiet about his next release, mysteriously titled Missing which unites the auteur actor with one of his favourite co-stars Tabu. “We worked together in Hansal Mehta’s Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar and Akashdeep’s Ghaat many years ago. Now I can say we’ve finally done another film together that does justice to her talent, and the talent of Anu Kapoor. Missing is basically about three characters played by three of us actors,” says Manoj, discreetly leaving himself out of mentioning the acting talent in Missing.
“I am never satisfied with my own performances. There’s always a hunger …That’s why I am led to new directors. Mukul Abhyankar who directed Missing shocked me, as he’ll shock audiences. He was constantly excited about the scenes we shot every day. He would call up at the end of the day and say, ‘Sir, yeh aapne kaise kiya?’ Kiya, kyonki aapne diya. An actor needs a director and co-stars who inspire him. I got both in Missing.”
About the secrecy and the sudden decision to release Missing alongside several other films on April 6, Manoj says, “Firstly the decision is not sudden. We decided April 6 was the correct date when there is no big release. Also, we wanted to keep the release date a secret as long as possible because we did not want to do too much media interaction on Missing.”
Missing out the media interaction on Missing…why? Explains Manoj, “This is a suspense film in the truest sense. Every twist and turn in the plot is crucial. We can’t give any of it away. I never knew it was so difficult to promote a suspense film. I know the media will ask us questions about the plot and one of us will blurt out something that will give away the suspense. I’ve never been more scared of promoting any of my films.”
You would think Manoj would be sulking about the failure of his last release Aiyaary. But no. “I am very proud of Aiyaary. According to me it is Neeraj Pandey’s most accomplished work and one of my most satisfying performances. It suffered because of the relentless back-and-forth with the release date. Anyway I’ve put it behind me now. An artiste can’t shed tears over what is gone. Luckily for me there is always the next challenge.”