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‘Nawaz did the film for Rs 1’

In an industry that has become largely money-oriented, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the team of Manto showed that artistes are driven by their love for movies. Eager to bring director Nandita Das’s vision of Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto to the big screen, most actors associated with the biopic decided to forgo their remuneration.

Das tells Mid-day that the film’s leading man was so taken by the story that a discussion about the remuneration did not arise. “Nawaz offered to do the film for `1. To not charge even a nominal fee is gracious of him,” says the director, who was surprised to find similar support from Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta and Javed Akhtar, among others.

“Rishi Kapoor gave his nod in our first meeting. Paresh Rawal had worked with me in Firaaq (2008), I am truly grateful he did this role to perfection,” says Das, adding that the move proves that actors will go the extra mile for a compelling story. “As I have been on the other side [of the camera], I can say that good actors are hungry for good projects.” Quiz her if she intends to have a profit-sharing arrangement with the actors, and she reiterates, “The compensation comes in the form of the joy of working on interesting projects.”

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