A man of action

Sensible thought

A man of action

Comparisons are inevitable, but the Zubeidaa star says there is no reason for that.
Manoj is playing the role of revolutionary Surya Sen, famously known as Masterda, in Chittagong directed by Bedabrata Pain, while Abhishek is portraying the same freedom fighter in Ashutosh Gowariker's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se.

“There is no harm if people get to see Masterda in two films. Abhishek is a good
actor, he will play it his way and I will play it in mine. I don’t see why we should be compared,” said Manoj.

Chittagong will release in October, while Khelein Hum... is expected to hit screens in December. Manoj is glad that two films are being made on the 1930 event, which will mean that more people will come to know about the lesser-known freedom fighter.

“Although the approach is different, it is great that two films are being made on the same event and more people will come to know about Masterda,” said Manoj.

Even though it’s a period film, the actor hasn't gone into much research about his role since he got ample help from his director. “Masterda was a teacher – very subdued, calm and intelligent – but one who spoke like a leader and could inspire people,” said Manoj.

He is known for his intense performances in Shool and Pinjar and Manoj says he likes to watch all kinds of films except mushy and romantic ones.

The actor, who shot to fame as Bhiku Mhatre in Ramgopal Varma’s Satya (1998), a gritty film based on the Mumbai underworld, says there are few chances of him being cast as a romantic hero either.

“I consider my role in Zubeidaa as a romantic one, but with every passing year,  chances of me being cast as a romantic hero is decreasing,” said Manoj.

The actor is looking forward to two more upcoming releases – an animated Ramayana, in which Manoj has lent his voice to Ram’s character and a comedy Dus Tola, where he is playing a goldsmith.

“It is a Malgudi Days kind of movie about simple, honest people and their relationships,” said Manoj, who has actress Aarti Chhabria playing his love interest in the film. Come November, Manoj will begin shooting for Anurag Kashyap's next based on the coal mafia in Dhanbad, which will be made in two parts.

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