Mumbai: Despite more than a month of preparation and shooting for a role that was homosexual in the film "Aligarh", actor Manoj Bajpayee says he is still straight.
Social activist Harish Iyer, who was present along with the cast and crew of the film at a press meet on Tuesday, told Manoj: "I promise you that you will not become gay if you support this film."
Manoj replied: "He is right. Thirty days of preparation, and 35 days of shooting for this role, I'm still straight."
Manoj plays a professor who is homosexual, and who was filmed while he became intimate with another male. That video led the college management to suspend him, after which he pursues a court case and gets his job back, but loses his life in the process.
"Gulzar sahab 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," Manoj said.
"It's quite taxing when 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.
"Aligarh", directed by Hansal Mehta and also starring Rajkummar Rao, is releasing on February 26.
On how to come out of the character, he 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 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," Manoj added.