New Delhi: Actor Manoj Bajpayee’s espionage action thriller ‘The Family Man Season 2’ has been highly-praised by fans and critics alike. The Amazon Prime Video’s Original not only lives up to the sky-high expectations of die-hard followers but also sets the pace for Season 3.
In an interview with DNA, Manoj Bajpayee opens on on the possibility of a third season and also talks about his work equation with co-star Samantha Akkineni. Here are the excerpts of the interview:
Q. What has your reaction to all the positive reviews to ‘The Family Man’ season 2 been?
A. I think most of it was very positive, most of it. The audience, friends, family’s and the industry’s reaction has been so massive, so amazing that it is getting too difficult to believe that it’s happening. This kind of success, I don’t think any one of us have expected from this season. It has gone beyond anyone’s apprehension or expectation. Every one of us is feeling completely inundated and overwhelmed.
Q. After the promo released, there was a controversy over whether the subject around which season 2 revolves — the Eelam War — will be handled appropriately. There was also a call to ban the series’ release. Are you feeling a sigh of relief that the web series was able to do justice without hurting any sentiments?
A. I mean, you look at the reaction from everywhere. We were very sure that once they (viewers) watched the show, all the questions will be answered, all the apprehensions will be taken care of. Now, when you know it is doing so well, and each and everyone is watching, you don’t hear that kind of noise anymore, partly because the series itself, the story itself has satisfied them and answered all the questions that they had after watching the promo.
Q. Samantha Akkineni has made her digital debut opposite you in ‘The Family Man’ season 2′. What has your work equation been like with her?
A. I had a great time working with her. I mean, whenever we worked, we shared lots of laughter, cheers, and pleasantries and had a lot of admiration for each other. We all were all quite aware of the fact the superstar that she is from the Tamil and Telugu industry and we also knew that she would be getting her own fan base to the show. And look at her! Look at the number of admirers that she has all of them are rooting for her. It’s so amazing that The Family Man has increased our territory of the fan base.
Q. Talking about equation and sharing screen space, this was late Asif Basra’s last film outing. There’s an elaborate scene in the series where you have a humorous encounter with him. It’s also effortless. Could you tell us about it and working with him?
A. Asif has been a friend of mine for a long time. His passing away came as a shock to us. I didn’t even realize the fact that he was going through such a mental trauma, that he had to take such a step drastic step. Whenever I see that scene, I don’t feel comfortable. I also don’t believe that he’s gone. We will always remember him with a lot of fun and laughter and the happiness that we shared with each other. And I personally dedicate this performance of mine to him.
Q. In ‘The Family Man’ season 2, the biggest cliffhanger is whether Srikant Tiwari knows what happened between Suchi and her colleague Arvind in Lonawala. Does he know? Can you tell us?
A. If he (Srikant) knew the story of family man would have ended long back. So it’s better that he doesn’t know. Will Suchi tell him eventually? We really don’t know! We are not too sure at this point in time, how Suchi is going to come to a point where she will decide to tell him the truth. We don’t know what happened in Lonawala. We as an audience know, but Srikant doesn’t know of course. So, he is only dealing with Suchi’s dissatisfaction, unhappiness with the marriage.
Q. The ‘minimum guy’ is famous now! What is your definition of a minimum guy?
A. I don’t think anybody is a minimum guy. God has made all of us with our strengths and weaknesses. And everybody is capable of big things. That is why the audience hates Kaustav so much, who played such a fine boss. I personally don’t think there is anybody in this world who is a minimum guy. The person who is calling others so, is the minimum guy, not the person who it is being told.
Q. ‘The Family Man’ season 2 teased the plot for the third season, which as we are guessing is on the Indo-China issues. It supposedly is set in the backdrop of the pandemic. Can you tell us a little about season 3? Have you already started shooting?
A. How can we start shooting at a time we are in a lockdown? Also, there is no script right now. Yes, the idea is there…the writers and the directors exactly know what to do with it. But they will only start writing if there is a final call from the platform. There’s a lot of formalities that need to be finished before they start writing. And then the dates will be taken, then we’ll start shooting, then post-production. There’s too much of a gap between the coffee and the lip.
Q. With OTT being right at the top of the entertainment pyramid right now with the digital platforms serving as the medium where people are getting their daily dose of entertainment. Do you think viewers will have apprehensions if and when the theatres open?
A. When theatres will open, they will see footfall, there will be an audience going to going to the theatres, definitely, it will happen. When and how? Well, that only time can tell. Cinema viewing is going to remain the same, it’s kind of a down period right now. You really can’t help it. It’s because of the restrictions and lockdowns that the theatres have suffered. But to say that one medium will dominate the other… no, all of these mediums will be there. OTT and theatre will be at par with each other. Personally, I think there’ll be no demarcation. Actors and directors will be working on both mediums.
Q. Finally, in the series, we see Srikant Tiwari torn between his family life and profession. As Manoj Bajpayee, what comes first for you?
A. Family comes first. First I have to fulfil all the expectations and the requirements and only then can I get out of my house. And if there is any call of my daughter falling sick or my wife not feeling well, it disturbs me completely. I can’t function. For me, family’s happiness is of utmost priority. After that, you can work well. Then you don’t care if you are hurt and you are nursing or wound on the shoot, it really doesn’t bother you. The family has to be happy for you to work.