Basking in the acclaim he got for sensitive portrayal of a gay professor in “Aligarh”, actor Manoj Bajpayee will now be seen as a traffic policeman in his next film, a project for which he had to bring up the peculiar traits of cops for his role.
The 46-year-old actor says most of the constables in Mumbai come from the interiors of Maharashtra and he had to take special attention in understanding how they communicate when he was preparing for his role in the film “Traffic”.
“Most of the Mumbai traffic cops or constables come from the interiors of Maharashtra. That part I had to bring it up. They are not Mumbaikars. They are all coming from Satara, Marathwada, from the interiors.
They have a different culture, way of speaking, communication is different,” Bajpayee told reporters on the sidelines of the film’s trailer launch here. Directed by late Rajesh Pillai, “Traffic” is a remake of a 2011 Malayalam film of the same name.
The “Aligarh” star says he was observant about the body language of traffic police personnel and did not model his character on any particular officer.
“If you’re living in Mumbai and if you keep your eyes and ears open, you keep meeting these guys. As an actor you are observant all the time. You don’t have to go looking for some one guy. I don’t do it, never done it.”
The drama-thriller is inspired from an actual event that happened in Chennai where a doctor couple donated organs of their 15-year-old son who died in a road accident.
The young boy’s heart was transported to another hospital for a girl who required heart transplant. The road journey, which would’ve taken close to 45-minute, was completed in 11 minute as the police cleared the way and gave green signal for the ambulance to pass. Pillai, who had helmed the original film as well, died on February 27 in Kochi due to a liver-related disease.
“We made the film in one year and then we were contemplating on finding the right release. Now we found it. The only sad part is the director is no more and not with us when we have started promoting the film,” Bajpayee said.
Bajpayee is elated finally even mainstream films are tackling subjects which are close to reality. “I am very happy that finally, not only niche or parallel or different films but also mainstream (movies) somehow decided to make stories which are real. And those films are doing well.”
“Traffic”, which also stars Jimmy Shergill, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Divya Dutta and Amol Parashar, is scheduled to release on May 6.