Actor Manoj Bajpayee has addressed ignorance about and prejudice against homosexuality by saying he is ‘still straight’ after playing a gay character in the film Aligarh.
Social activist Harish Iyer, who was present with the cast and crew of the film at a press meet on Tuesday, said, “I promise you that you will not become gay if you support this film.” Manoj Bajpayee, 46, replied, “He is right. 30 days of preparation, and 35 days of shooting for this role, I’m still straight.”
“Gulzar sahib says that all characters, if you really play them seriously, leave a mark in your brain. Most of the actors who take their work very seriously and work in these kind of films, you’ll find them having mood swings. It creates a vacuum inside you, your mind is bruised after playing so many various characters from theatre days till now,” the actor said.
“It’s quite taxing when the whole day you’re in the character and if you don’t do that, you’ll miss the sur. You have to be in the character and you have to be walking, eating like him,” he said.
Directed by Hansal Mehta, Aligarh, which also co-stars Rajkummar Rao, releases on February 26.
Asked about how he came out of his character, Manoj Bajpayee said, “If you want to be sane, then you really have to switch off. This is what my psychiatrist told me 10-15 years back. I didn’t know how to do that but I started working on it, and now I reached a point that after pack-up, I just switch off. I like to unwind by disturbing Hansal Mehta by knocking on his door 50 times.”
“Find people from the unit, sit with them, talk to them, just forget what you’ve done and look for the next day. At the end of the day have a glass of wine, play up some music, dance, that’s what I do,” the actor added.