He was born in Kottayam District, Kerala in an Ezhava family to the Carnatic musicianJayan and V. K. Sarojini, a teacher. Biju K. Jayan is his only brother. Despite being the son of a renowned Carnatic musician, as a child Manoj was not keen to learn Carnatic music. From his childhood days onward he had a passion for movies. As an introvert, he didn't participate in competitions during his school/college days. Manoj used to imitate movie actors for his friends and their appreciation encouraged him to try his luck in acting.
While he was studying in Nattakam (near Kottayam) Government College, Manoj enjoyed watching movies more than attending classes. One day he revealed his interest in acting to his parents and they sent him to Southern Film Institute, Trivandrum. Hostel life, theory classes and video practical in the institute helped Manoj to overcome his inhibitions and shyness. The training and direction he received from the institute transformed Manoj into a more professional and polished actor.
Immediately after leaving his institute, Manoj got a call from his professor Adam Ayub for a role in a serial to be telecasted in Doordarshan. The TV serial "Kumilakal" featured... Read More