Hitlist Web Awards | Manoj Bajpayee on The Family Man: Loved the character-arc

The barrage of offerings available online may be deceptive, but the growth of the web platform in India is still considered to be in a nascent stage. And even though it may be argued that the crop of Bollywood actors who forayed into the digital medium did so rather early, Manoj Bajpayee admits that several offers had come his way before he gave his nod to The Family Man.

"It was clutter-breaking," he says of the Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK (Raj & DK) offering that tells the tale of a middle-class man secretly working as an intelligence officer. The positive reactions to the Amazon Prime Video series was testimony that Bajpayee had expectedly packed enough punch into his subtle act as the protagonist. "This kind of a storyline has not been seen on any platform. Raj and DK have a sparkling style of writing, and I was sure they could craft it uniquely. Some stories are about a few [assorted] scenes, but, in this case, the writing, [as a whole], was fresh. I was lured," says the actor, adding that as is demanded of a finite series, each character was beautifully etched.

A tale about a man secretly working for an intelligence agency would seem like fodder for those with a keen interest in solving mysteries. But Bajpayee points to the dramatics in his character's relationships, when highlighting the element that strongly impacted him. "The scene where [my character] fights with his wife, and they then move from one room of the house to the other, was [improvised]. A lot of these interpersonal scenes evolved while we were on set, and the experiments worked for viewers. The character's transition, from being a common man to one who serves an intelligence agency, was delicious to explore. Raj and DK were clear that this guy is no James Bond. Men working in intelligence departments are ordinary-looking guys doing extraordinary work. De-glamorising him was necessary to give viewers a sense of reality, including his middle-class lifestyle, which comprises small cars, basic schooling for children and a crazy work schedule."

Bajpayee can't reveal too much about the second instalment, but promises that new entrant Samantha Akkineni will be the "head-turner". "We have many new actors from across India and it will be a fitting second season."

. The hospital seen in the show was a real one. The inauguration of a cancer ward was being done in between the shooting stint. The staff had requested Bajpayee to help inaugurate the ward, and he happily obliged.

. Co-director Krishna DK plays Nikhil, whose character is inspired by one of his entrepreneur friends, Anupam Mittal.

. Vijay Vikram, the actor playing Ajit, also apparently lends his voice to Bigg Boss. In between shots, he would rush back to dub for the running episodes of the Salman Khan-hosted show.