Bihar-born actor Manoj Bajpayee aspired to become an actor since his childhood. At the age of 17, he applied to the National School of Drama, Delhi, but was rejected four times. While Bajpayee made his debut with a one-minute appearance in the 1994 film Drohkaal, he got his breakthrough with Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya in 1998.
Manoj Bajpayee is best-known for his role as Sardar Khan in the Gangs of Wasseypur series. More recently, it is his character of Srikant Tiwari in Amazon Prime Video’s thriller series The Family Man in which he plays an undercover cop agent, that has given him an iconic status. Bajpayee has received several awards recognising his acting skills including six Filmfare awards for Best Actor, three National Film Awards, fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri and two Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
He recently wrapped up the shoot for Ronnie Screwvala’s thriller film Dispatch, which will be released directly on OTT platform but the streaming service has not been announced by the makers yet.
Here are the best Manoj Bajpayee films that prove the actor is the OG of Bollywood as he rose to fame and success with his hard work and determination:
The 2015-film is a biographical-drama film based on the life of Professor Ramchandra Siras who taught at the Aligarh Muslim University and was allegedly charged on the grounds of homosexuality. Bajpayee plays the role of Professor Siras in the film as he recollects the allegations and humiliation he had to face after a group of people barged into his home and “caught” him having consensual sex with another man. The actor was highly appreciated for his acting in the film as he successfully brought of the pain and fatigue that Siras goes through unjustly, simple for his sexuality.
Gangs of Wasseypur
His role as gangster Sardar Khan in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur remains one of Bajpayee’s most popular performances after The Family Man. The films, which have developed a cult following since their release, follow the story of a rivalry between generations of men from various families and how it only leads to death and destruction. The films series has two parts and is set in the backdrop of crime in the city of Wasseypur. It also stars actors Richa Chadha, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia in prominent roles among others.
Manoj Bajpayee plays the role of a Muslim Man Rashid, who abducts a Hindu woman and forced her into marriage in the backdrop of India-Pakistan partition. Bajpayee amassed the Filmfare award for Best Actor for Pinjar and the film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 2004. Pinjar is based on the novel by the same name written by Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam.
While Manoj Bajpayee was seen in the supporting role of gangster Bhiku Mhatre, alongside JD Chakravarthi and Urmila Matondkar in the lead roles, his award-winning performance in Satya cannot go unnoticed especially as he asks “Mumbai ka king kaun“.