“I never try to make the character larger than life. I always try to live in the reality and make the character a representative of the masses.” This is what noted actor Manoj Bajpayee said at an ‘In-conversation session’ on the ‘Creating Cult Icons: India’s own James Bond with the family man’ held on the sidelines of the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa.
Addressing the session virtually, Manoj said that life of an Indian middle class is a comedy and it is the inspiration and reference for all his characters. “I didn’t need to search Srikant Tiwari, my character in the The Family Man series anywhere else. I got it within me, in my family, in my surrounding and everywhere”, he said.
He said that The Family Man is a great story of a middle class Indian guy, who is trying to find a balance between a demanding job and a demanding family. “When Raj and DK came to me with the synopsis, I was sold out to it”, added Manoj.
Director of ‘The Family Man’ Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K., famed as Raj & DK, while addressing the session said that they wanted to do a Pan-India story. “The biggest expression of freedom that we experience when we started The Family Man series was why should we limit ourselves? To break the barrier and make the story pan-India, we reached out to the actors, crew and writers from different regions”, said the duo.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu, noted actress of Telugu and Tamil film industry said that Raji, her character in the web series was the most vulnerable and challenging role for her and she sought a lot of handholding and training for this. “Raji was so new, unique and exciting. It allowed me to explore a new dimension and the actor in me couldn’t refuse this challenge”, she said.
Responding to a query on OTT, Samantha said that OTT is a platform which demands strong story and empathy of character. “It’s very difficult to engage the audience of a web series as we have to overcome many hurdles. The control is always at the hands of audience”, she added.
Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Amazon Prime told that five years back the team went around moving door-to-door to creators and asked them for stories. “It happened finally. We are thankful that Raj & DK choose us to tell their story. We are happy that today it transcends all barriers. It resonated within us and it touched audience across the globe”, said Aparna.
She said, “In India everything beautifully co-exist, so will OTT and the big screen. Engaging and compelling content will always capture the audience. We were able to thrive even during the most difficult phase of the pandemic through the power of art.”
The In-Conversation session was moderated by Actor Ankur Pathak. The session started with felicitation of the panel by Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Apurva Chandra in the presence of Festival Director Shri Chaitanya Prasad.