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Manoj Bajpayee argues that success is having the flexibility to make decisions.

Manoj Bajpayee got a lot of praise for his recently released OTT film, Gulmohar. Now he will be playing a lawyer in Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, which is inspired by true events and real characters. In an exclusive chat with Filmfare Manoj speaks about his role and more. Excerpts:

What were your thoughts behind signing Banda?
My thoughts were that we could write a fantastic film out of these true events and also the character itself; though it was inspired by the real character, I thought that there was potential to create a fantastic character out of it.

What was the most challenging part?
Most challenging part was the climax, where I had to deliver more than 100–150 lines, and I also knew that my director wanted it in one take.

As an actor, what do you take away from a film like this, and what do you give to it?
When you are doing these kinds of stories, which are inspired by true events and real characters, they always improve at the end. They always make you a better person, and they always educate you about so many other things. In this one, I learned so much about the POSCO Act.

How do you reinvent yourself with each project?
The beauty of being an actor is that there is a chance to create various characters for the audience so that they can be entertained and have the opportunity to see the actor in various ways.

Do you feel the pressure to do better each time?
I put that pressure on myself; nobody gives me that pressure. I don’t even think about the pressure coming from outside; the pressure comes from within me.The pressure of doing good work and being known for good work

What do your aspirations look like at the moment?
There are no aspirations. The aspirations are that this year, whatever I am supposed to do, I will do it so well that I go to my breaks satisfied with what I’ve done.

If given a chance, would you have done any of your successful films differently?
Not at all. I would not touch any of my films—except Aks.

Actors are usually their own biggest critics.
Yes, I don’t even watch my films because I know that I am going to be disappointed with my own work, but that time is gone. I have moved on, I have lived, and I am constantly changing and improving myself to be a better version of myself. My thoughts are changing, and my interpretations are changing. So I keep moving on with time and being a part of great scripts instead of going back in time and reliving the same again.

What is the best part of being an actor?
That you get to be so many different kinds of people. And be known for the performances that entertain people. And one more thing: you get the best seat in a restaurant.

What does success mean to you?
Success means freedom— having the freedom to choose.

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