Rasika Dugal is excited and hopeful that her maiden experience at the celebrated Cannes Film Festival, where a curtain raiser of her film Manto is being hosted, will be a special one.
Being directed by Nandita Das, Manto — starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the title role — is a biographical film based on the Urdu writer. Apart from emphasising on Manto and his writings, it will also reflect on his personal life in which his wife Safia played a strong role.
Rasika, noted for her performance in the film “Qissa” and TV show “P.O.W – Bandi Yuddh Ke”, plays Safia.
“I’ve never been to Cannes and this is going to be my first time… Like that hashtag that’s going around, I am also going to be a Cannes virgin,” quipped the actress in a conversation with IANS, before taking off for Cannes.
She will be in the French Riviera for only about two-and-half days, and her schedule is packed, from what she tells of it.
“We have some interviews organised after I reach there and then we have a ‘Manto’ night organised by HP Studios, one of our film’s producers. Then the next day, there’s a chat with Nandita, Nawazuddin and I at the India Pavilion. We would be talking about ‘Manto’ a bit, Nawazuddin is going to read out something, Nandita will talk a bit about her journey, about the film, the script and about the shooting experience so far,” Rasika said.
“And, we will be unveiling the first promo, which I haven’t seen myself yet.”
She is not even sure if she’s in the promo.
“I was wanting to ask her if I am there in it, but thought it’s a selfish question,” Rasika said.
Given that the focus of the fashion police sitting back at home is always on who’s wearing what, is her wardrobe set?
“It’s always such a task. And especially for someone like me, because I never know what’s appropriate. It’s a constant struggle… I feel this is a department I have no skill in, so I have to rely on other people for it. Tisca (Tisca Chopra) is my first stop… I wear whatever she approves,” she said.
For her Cannes journey, Rasika has already taken Tisca’s advice. She will be wearing Indian attires because she felt it suits the mood of “Manto”.
“I felt I should remain in the zone of the film. And I have always enjoyed wearing Indian,” said the actress, who is usually seen flaunting an edgy and distinctive look at events.
If she had her way, Rasika would give a “fashion oriented” twist to her look in “Manto” for the Cannes gala, but she didn’t want to risk being “gimmicky”.
Over half of “Manto” has already been shot, and the team is likely to wrap up shooting by mid-June. For now, she is hoping that the weather in Cannes will be a pleasant break from the sultry heat in Mumbai.