Art & Entertainment

Manoj Bajpayee On Yash Chopra Roping Him For ‘Veer Zaara’: I Don’t Make Films For An Actor Like You

‘Veer Zaara’ was a cross-border romance and Manoj Bajpayee featured in the Yash Chopra directorial in a cameo.

Manoj Bajpayee in 'Veer Zaara'
info_icon

We have all loved Manoj Bajpayee as Bhiku Mhatre in ‘Satya’, and Sardar Khan in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and the most recent Srikant Tiwari in ‘Family Man’. But at the time when the actor was doing offbeat cinema, his first big mainstream turn was with Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta starrer ‘Veer Zaara’ in 2004.

The film, according to Bajpayee, was not only a great opportunity for him to “catch up” with SRK, who he had known for years, but also to be on the sets of filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was the one who surprisingly roped him for the project. 

In an interview with Humans of Bombay, when asked about working with Shah Rukh in ‘Veer Zaara’, Bajpayee quipped that he did the romantic drama for Yash Chopra, who offered him the special role. “No offence to him (Shah Rukh), but I did this film because Mr Yash Chopra called me up and requested me to be a part of it. He was a big fan of my performance in Pinjar and once he saw the film in Delhi with Lal Krishna Advani ji, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, he was thoroughly impressed with my performance. That’s when he thought of offering me this role,” he said.

Bajpayee further added, “It was a guest appearance; I was there only for four-five days. He treated me as good as anyone on the sets. I was welcomed so royally in that film family, the Veer Zaara family. I enjoyed every moment of shooting with Yash Chopra ji.”

For the unversed, the film was a cross-border romance with Shah Rukh, an Indian Air Force officer, falling in love with Preity Zinta, daughter of a Pakistani politician.

Bajpayee further mentioned that the film offered an opportunity for him to reconnect with Shah Rukh, who he knew from his Delhi days. “Shah Rukh, I have known for many years from my days in Delhi, so it was also a chance to catch up. Because we don’t meet up, we belong to two different kinds of films and filmmaking. So, it was a chance to catch up with him and also enjoy being on the sets of Mr Yash Chopra, who had been such a magnificent, successful mainstream director for so many years. We grew up watching his films! We used to chat for a long, both Yash ji and I. He was very clear in telling me, ‘I don’t make films for an actor like you, so I don’t think I would have anything else in the future, but this is very good and it will be great if you agree to do it.’ He was such a humble man,” Bajpayee signed off. 

The actor was last seen in Disney Plus Hotstar film ‘Gulmohar’, co-starring Sharmila Tagore.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement