×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Busan: ‘Bhonsle’ Star Manoj Bajpayee Finds Balance Between Acting and Producing

It has been a busy 2018 for award-winning Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee. He featured in smash Bollywood hits “Baaghi 2” and “Satyameva Jayate,” and in acclaimed independent films “In the Shadows,” “Missing” and “Love Sonia.” Bajpayee stars in and is a co-producer on “Bhonsle,” which had its world premiere at Busan Oct. 5 and is a nominee for the Kim Ji-seok Award.

In “Bhonsle,” directed by Devashish Makhija (whose “Ajji” played Busan in 2017), Bajpayee plays a reclusive Mumbai policeman who stands up against divisive factions. It is the actor’s third film in recent years at the festival after “Aligarh” in 2015 and “In the Shadows” in 2017. For Bajpayee, wearing the twin hats of an actor and a producer has been a balancing act. In the case of “Bhonsle,” he had to step in as a producer when existing producers backed out.

“I’m a reluctant producer and a co-producer, I don’t want to produce films,” Bajpayee told Variety. “But when situations like ‘Bhonsle’ arise, one has to involve into it and back the project to give support and confidence to the other producers. It is a very difficult task to do one of the [most] challenging films of your life and also organize money at the same time. ‘Bhonsle’ is a film that needs to be told and I thought it needs to be told now, so I took up the challenge.”

“Bhonsle” is produced by India’s Manoj Bajpayee Prods., Golden Ratio Films, Promodome Motion Pictures and Singapore’s Indie Muviz.

Bajpayee is also one of the few Indian actors who strike a balance between commercial and independent cinema.  “I’m a realistic person,” said Bajpayee.  “To be alive in the audiences’ minds one needs to do commercial films like ‘Baaghi 2’ and ‘Satyameva Jayate.’  And when films like these become blockbusters, my market credibility as an actor and commercial value as an actor increases in the minds of the distributors and producers. This eventually will not only help me personally and professionally but, yes, it will also help me to contribute and support the independent films I’m planning to do in future.”

That future lineup includes feature “Sonchiraiya” and “The Family Man,” an original series for Amazon India’s Prime Video streaming service. There is also an untitled film with Makhija in the works.

“Independent films in India are a challenge because you don’t have any support coming from any corporate [players] and distributors,” says Bajpayee. “You know that it’s a long journey and I think I’m used to enjoying it now. I take it as a challenge, as a duty and a contribution towards independent cinema by helping and supporting a talent like Devashish Makhija.”

After Busan, “Bhonsle” will have its Indian premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival in October.

More Film

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content