Manoj Bajpayee wife: Her birth name is Shabana Raza. When she made her entry into Bollywood with the 1998 film Kareeb, she says she was “forced” to change her name. And so she became popular as Neha, named for her debut character.
Raza has just over ten films under her belt, including in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. She was active as Neha until 2009 but after a decade of acting under a stage name she wasn’t very keen on adopting in the first place, Raza reverted to her identity as Shabana Raza.
The last film she acted in was the 2011 Sanjay Gupta-directed Alibaug. The film, which also starred Dia Mirza, Ronit Roy and Samir Soni, was ultimately shelved after an alleged rift between Gupta and lead Sanjay Dutt, as per reports. Raza, however, is best remembered for her role as Hrithik Roshan’s love interest in Fiza from 2000.
Fiza also starred Manoj Bajpayee, whom Raza married in 2006. The couple had known each other since the 90s. In an interview with Rediff in 2008, Raza revealed, “We met each other just after Kareeb. Kareeb and Satya released within a month of each other.”
She impressed on changing from Neha to Raza and back in the same interview, saying, “I was never Neha. I was always Shabana. I was forced into changing my name too. I was not okay with it at all. My parents proudly named me Shabana. There was no need to change it, but nobody listened to me.”
Manoj Bajpayee Wife Shabana Raza On What Keeps The Couple Going
After the couple became parents to a daughter, Raza decided to take a step back from films to focus on home and family. In a conversation with Hindustan Times then, she revealed when the right roles stopped coming to her, she was happy just being ‘Mrs Manoj Bajpayee.’
“Manoj and I don’t need to socialise or go out to feel happy. We share long evenings of tea, silences and warm vibes right in our house. Nothing gives us more joy than to be together in our house,” she said about their relationship.
“I was always Shabana Raza. Neha was never me, it is too delicate a name to describe me. I’m far stronger”: Shabana Raza, Manoj Bajpayee wife says
Bajpayee, whose Srikant in Family Man 2 is racking up frenzied acclaim, said three years ago that Raza would star in a short film produced by him. Though he didn’t reveal details about the project, he said it was a role Raza “would like to be associated with.”
“I never asked Shabana to quit. It was her decision. Now, is the right time for her to return to work,” he added.