“Manoj Bajpayee is one of the biggest international stars today”, says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra- Exclusive! – Times of India

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Manoj Bajpayee have had a long association together, the latter was the star in Mehra’s debut film ‘Aks’ (2001) after all. At a recent interaction with the media at the Times LitFest in Mumbai, Mehra praised Bajpayee’s resurgence as a star on OTT and remarked, “Today Manoj is one of the biggest stars we have, not just in India but internationally, too.” Mehra was referring to Bajpayee’s popularity surging thanks to the show ‘The Family Man’.

Mehra was quizzed by a member of the audience on the changes he’s observed in the world of films since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the multiple lockdowns restricted filmmaking and exhibition efforts. The ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag‘ director quipped, “Nothing has changed, nothing at all. You witnessed the Bengal election, nothing changed. Now, look at Ganpati celebrations, nothing has changed. I had friends who invited me for the marriage of their kids, nothing changed.”

He did point out that TV became of prime importance during the lockdowns. Mehra said, “What happened was people were stuck at home and they got to see a lot of television. It’s not about Amazon or Netflix or HotStar. As far as the audience is concerned they don’t care, they are watching the TV and what they want to watch. That has levelled the playing field. A lot of artistes who were not recognised earlier, a lot of storytellers who could not get an opportunity, have found stardom.”

Talking about the biggest breakout stars on OTT Mehra added, “Look at the resilience of Manoj Bajpayee. He never gave up on what he believed in, which was himself and his art form. Look at Shefali Shah, who did ‘Delhi Crime’. She is more recognised as a face all over the world than any female artist.”


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