Manto, a biopic on Saadat Hassan Manto, has hit the screens. Recent reports suggested that Nawazuddin Siddiqui charged only Rs 1 as his remuneration for the film. When the actor was in town for promotions of Manto, we asked him if the reports were true.
“When I was briefed about the film and especially about the character, I felt he thinks a lot like me. I also think the same way but I do not have courage like him. I thought if I would charge from Nandita to put up my thoughts and ideas through Manto, nothing else will give me higher guilt than this. But since I am a professional actor, I charged one rupee which, by the way, she hasn’t paid me yet. I can still say that she owes me money,” Siddiqui said.
Describing his character in the film, the actor said, “My character is of a person who took the courage to bring the truth in front. While doing the role I faced many problems. Usually, when you work on a character, you think of methods or crafts you can apply to become the character or to play the role. However, the challenge was to be honest. That was a basic requirement to be Manto.”
Talking about why he thinks Manto is relevant in today’s time and age, Nawazuddin Siddiqui said, “I think we all want to speak the truth but because the other person is judgmental in every way, we all silence ourselves. I think the youth wants to speak up despite the repercussions. So, it’s the youth who will connect the most to the film.”
When asked if there is a quality of Manto which Nawaz wants to adapt in his life, the actor said, “Manto was brutally honest. I was trying to become like him, honest, but I was screwed. So, maybe I will get back to him later.”