Noted actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui was welcomed with a packed house in the front lawns of Diggi Palace as he arrived to participate in a session at the ZEE Literature Festival themed on his upcoming film which charts the life of Saadat Hasan Manto.
With the crowds going gaga over the Gangs of Wasepur star, loud cheers and whistles resonating in the pristine venue, the organisers had quite a task to put things in order before the session kicked off. And when it finally did, the excitement only grew.
Siddiqui said that he chose Manto for what he stood for.
“He was a big fighter for free speech. Manto had always been true and wrote what he saw around him. The greatest challenge for me was that I was not like him. I am not like Manto. I tell lots of lies. I had to listen to my director and really had to purify myself (I was very polluted) before I began shooting,” he said.
The actor further stressed upon the fact that he was so engrossed in the role of Manto that he “could not think anything else” and was caught in Manto’s state of mind for a long time. Now that the shooting is over, he is trying hard to get out of that frame of mind so that he can focus on other films, films that are not necessarily artistic in their content.
“I want to do artistic films but also commercial films because I need the money and because I need the money I continue to make films,” he said. It was also revealed during the session that Siddiqui did not charge a “single penny” for Manto and did the movie free of cost.
He said that he has come a long way in Bollywood and has learnt “to balance between artistic films and commercial films.
The actor relished that one role he wishes to play is that of Dilip Kumar from yesteryears movie Mughal-e-Azam. “People underestimate my personality and say that I can only be a villain and do a certain kind of films but I want to do Dilip Sahab’s role and show that I can do Royal-type roles too,” he said on a lighter note.
“I want to be both an actor and a star,” he maintained.