Manoj Bajpayee is leaving no stone unturned to promote his next release – Gulmohar, a family drama in which he shares screen space with Sharmila Tagore, Suraj Sharma, Simran, and Amol Palekar. The film is a direct-to-digital release and will stream on Disney+ Hotstar from March 3.
In a recent promotional interview for Gulmohar, Manoj also opened up about his struggle with depression, revealing that he experienced a phase of deep sadness after being rejected from the National School of Drama (NSD).
Talking to ANI, Bajpayee reminisced about his childhood and shared that he had always aspired to become an actor since his fifth standard when he was lauded for his recitation of a poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. “When I came down after reciting it; somewhere in my mind there was a resolve that I am going to do acting,” he said.
However, he kept his aspirations to himself as he could not share them with his family. As he grew up, Bajpayee became more determined to pursue his dream and set his sights on the National School of Drama in Delhi. Bajpayee stated, “My mind was set that after school I have to prepare for the National School of Drama and take admission there.”
Fast-forward many years, when Bajpayee failed to pass the MBBS exam, he told his father to let him prepare for UPSC in Delhi. However, his goal was still NSD and when he was not able to get admission there it had a deep impact on the actor.
Bajpayee revealed that he went through a phase where he felt that all doors had been closed to him, as he had only ever had one plan and had not prepared for any alternatives. The rejection from NSD had a significant impact on him, and he found it difficult to face his loved ones during this time. He said, “By the time I went to the National School of Drama (NSD), I had become quite experienced during those 3 years but still I was rejected. Following that for a duration of one month I felt like everything of mine has been taken away because I never had a Plan B. I never make a Plan B. After that for a month my friends supported me and got me out of depression and I started looking for a new path. Ultimately, in Mandi House, a theatre group of NSD alumni was doing a 365-day workshop, which I joined. I learned a lot there.”
Delving deeper into that period, the actor shared that he experienced a fleeting suicidal thought of depression, but it was not as serious as the media made it out to be. He stressed that such thoughts were not uncommon for people who suffer from depression. Bajpayee revealed, “I went into such a depression where I didn’t know how to face the near and dear ones. And when you only have one plan you feel as if all doors have been closed. It was during this time that I had a passing suicidal thought that people made headlines out of but that wasn’t the case, it was just a passing thought that people experience while depressed.” (With inputs from ANI)
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