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I was fortunate to have actor like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, says Manto actress Rasika Dugal

September 19th, 2018 | by Manisha Surange
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I was fortunate to have actor like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, says Manto actress Rasika Dugal
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Actress Rasika Dugal, who plays the female lead character in the movie Manto, shared her experience of working with the critically acclaimed actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and director Nandita Das.

The actress in an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, shared about how she prepared for the intense role, and also how working with Nawazuddin made the task easy for her. She plays the role of Safia, late writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s wife.

Manto is going to have a box office clash with Batti Gul Meter Chalu, but Rasika is confident that both the movies have a different set of audience.

When asked about the experience working with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and under the direction of Nandita Das for the film Manto, Rasika said: Nandita is the most straightforward person I have worked with. And I have so much respect for her. In a very Manto-esque way she speaks her mind fearlessly. Nawaz and I had nicknamed her ‘Lady Manto’. She is also exacting and very particular about small details. That is my style of working too. So we got along really well. I have always admired Nawaz as an actor for the variety of roles he has pulled off with aplomb in all kinds of films. And he has had such an interesting journey as an actor. It was a treat to work with him and a bonus to get to watch him create his Manto.

Nawazuddin’s, character in Manto also appears to have a lot of depth and intensity. When asked about her preparation for the role?

Rasika: Nandita’s research on Manto and Safia was extensive. There were so many lovely stories she had got from spending time with Manto and Safia’s daughters. So we had a very rich script to begin with. Besides that, I spent time reading whatever I could get my hands on : a five volume collection of his work, columns he used to write on the Bombay film industry, essays of other writers which talked about Safia and him…to name a few. My Urdu classes helped me appreciate the nuances of his writing. His essays helped me understand Manto – the person rather than the writer. I also spent some time talking to Nuzhat apa. (Safia and Manto’s middle daughter). But all the research is just to aid your instinct, the real magic is in what transpires between two actors in the time between action and cut. And I was fortunate to have a brilliant actor like Nawaz to experience that with. I think there was a common respect for the work and genuine warmth for each other. And we shared a whacky sense of humor along with Nandita, which was a welcome relief on intense shoot days.

Rasika says after Manto, she is looking forward to Mirzapur – a web show on Amazon produced by excel entertainment. In Mirzapur, she will be seen alongside Pankaj Tripathi and play a role dramatically different from Safia in Manto. Another film called ‘ Hamid ‘ – which is set in Kashmir is coming up, it is an innocent story of a relationship between a mother and son.

Photo courtesy: www.ibtimes.com

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