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25 Years of Satya: Manoj Bajpayee claims he “was never offered the title role” in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya

en Bollywood News 25 Years of Satya: Manoj Bajpayee claims he “was never offered the title role” in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya

Ram Gopal Varma’s iconic gangster epic Satya, which released on 3 July, 25 years ago was a turning point in Manoj Bajpayee’s career. His portrayal of Bhiku Mhatre was visceral and raw, wounded and kinetic. The story doing the rounds for many years is that Manoj was offered the title role in Satya played by J D Chakravarthy.

25 Years of Satya: Manoj Bajpayee claims he “was never offered the title role” in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya

However Manoj clears the air. “There is a misconception going around for years that I was supposed to play the lead in Satya. No, that’s not true. Ramu met me for a small role in Daud, the role of Paresh Rawal’s assistant. Ramu realized I was the same actor whom he had liked in Shekhar Kapoor’s Bandit Queen. He said he was completely bowled over by my performance as Maan Singh in Bandit Queen. He wanted to immediately cast me.”

But there was a catch. “Ramu had no script for the film that he wanted to cast me in. Only an idea that was in his head about a film on the underworld. He wanted to do with the Mumbai mafia what Shekhar Kapoor had done with the dacoits in Bandit Queen. He was quite intrigued by the idea.”

Next came the writing, and Manoj was a big help to Ramu. “Ramu wanted me to get him writers for his underworld film. That’s how Anurag Kashyap and Saurav Shukla came on board. As the script started taking shape Ramu and the co-writers began to feel that they needed an actor with a theatre background to play Bhiku Mhatre. He was turning out to the most intriguing character in Satya. For the title role Ramu though he would cast Chakravarthy who has terrific screen presence.”

Manoj reiterates it was never he for the title role. “I don’t know where this came from. When Ramu thought of casting me, there was no Satya. Only the idea of a film on the underworld.

About his grand fallout with Ram Gopal Varma after Satya, Manoj laughs, “We were children. He gave me a career and I will always be indebted to him for that.”

More Pages: Satya Box Office Collection


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