Actor Manav Kaul, who caught the audience’s eye with his role of Bittu Mama in ‘Kai Po Che’, says he was on cloud nine to bag an important role in Hansal Mehta’s upcoming film ‘City Lights’.
After debuting in Bollywood with ‘Jajantaram Mamantaram’, Manav went on to do films like ‘1971’ and ‘Daayen Ya Baayen’, which did not do that well at the box office. ‘City Lights’ is an official adaptation of ‘Metro Manila’, which was Britain’s entry to the Oscars this year.
The film stars Manav’s ‘Kai Po Che’ co-star Rajkumar Rao in the main lead. “I got a call that Hansal Mehta is making ‘City Lights’ and he wants to meet me. I was like wow! That was my reaction. I feel that every actor should work with Hansal Mehta,” Manav told PTI.
He credits Mehta for bringing out his career’s best performance in ‘City Lights “In the movie, I play Vishnu, who works in a security agency. He is the boss of Rajkumar’s character. I never thought that I could have done a role like this. It was due to a director like Hansal.
“As an actor there is an ‘I’ one sees in oneself. However, the directors see you in a different light. If you
follow the instructions the director is giving, you would be surprised to see the performance that comes out,” he added.
Mehta’s last release ‘Shahid’, the biographical film on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, touched Manav’s heart to the extent that he wanted to be a part of the movie. “When I saw ‘Shahid’, I thought why am I not there in the film? I loved it so much. The way it has been shot, acted, it
feels absolutely real. As an actor you want to work with directors who treat everything so real, honest and nice,” Manav said.
Manav said he landed the chance to star in ‘City Lights’ after the success of ‘Kai Po Che’. “In ‘Kai Po Che’ I got to play a beautiful character. It was a hit and a very sensitive film. I feel after watching that film everyone started reacting. They started treating me like an actor and began to give me more challenging roles,” he said.
Apart from movies, the actor has performed in more than 100 plays. He also penned about 16 plays. “After ‘Jajantaram Mamantaram’ I suddenly started writing and directing plays. I absolutely got immersed in theatre. I was not concentrating on acting that much. I did ‘1971’ and ‘Daayen Ya Baayen’ because I loved their scripts,” he said.
“The kind of movies I was being offered were not that exciting. And since I work really hard, I didn’t want to sign up anything. I wanted to do something which you would be proud of eventually. ‘City Light’ is a very special film in that sense,” he added.
Manav has also been a national level swimmer. During his stint in Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bhopal, he developed an interest towards theatre and acting.
‘City Light’ is produced by Mahesh Bhatt and is expected to hit theatres on May 1. It stars newcomer Patraleka opposite Rajkumar.