Javed Akhtar, Rishi Kapoor, Gurdas Maan act for free in Nandita Das' Manto
Several actors didn't charge a penny for actor-filmmaker Nandita Das' forthcoming film
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays the late Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto in the film, offered to do it just for "Re 1 largely for Manto and little bit for" Nandita.
"This is a character that an actor would give an arm and leg for. But to not charge even a nominal fee was very gracious of Nawaz," says Nandita.
Apart from him, there are many eminent actors who agreed to do small parts purely to support the film. "Rishi Kapoor and Gurdas Maan said 'yes' in our first meeting. I also reached out to many whom I knew well and have used up all my goodwill to get a stellar cast that truly does justice to the characters in the film," says the Firaaq director. "While many have done cameo roles, they all bring their talent and credibility to the characters."
Actor Paresh Rawal had worked with her in Firaaq and now in Manto. "Politically, we may have differing views, but there is a mutual respect as an artist and I am truly grateful he did the role to perfection," says Nandita.
Talking about veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar, she says, "I have known Javed saab even before I did Fire. And I have always felt that he would be perfect in front of the camera. I thought it would be quite interesting to have a progressive writer of today defending Manto. You will see him in a new avatar."
"Trust me, there is more to life than money. The compensation comes in the form of experience and the joy of working on interesting projects. I, too, have done many such projects and have never looked for monetary compensation," adds Nandita.
Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta, Purab Kohli, Rajshri Deshpande and Swanand Kirkire also worked for free for the film.