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When Rasika betrayed Nawazuddin Siddiqui

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Pic Courtesy: instagram/ Rasika Dugal Pic Courtesy: instagram/ Rasika Dugal
Pic Courtesy: instagram/ Rasika Dugal

Actress Rasika Dugal says that her MANTO co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui felt betrayed as she got paid for working in the forthcoming film.

Celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Gurdas Maan, and Javed Akhtar didn't charge a penny for MANTO.

Asked if she also worked for free, Rasika told IANS over the phone from Mumbai, "I got paid for it and Nawazuddin still holds it against me because apparently, he got only Re 1 which Nandita (Das) has not paid him yet, according to him. In fact, very recently he found out that I was paid."

"Tahir (Tahir Raj Bhasin) and I were the highest paid actors. Nawaz looked at me with utter disbelief. He was like 'You betrayed me'. I said 'I am sorry. Don't hold it against me'. Nawaz was stunned," she said followed by laughter.

Working with him was a lot of fun for her.

"Nandita and Nawaz come across as such serious people. I keep telling people that they must work with them because they are quite fun. Sometimes, when you meet an actor who is more senior and established than you, you always have respect for them. Very often that respect is not reciprocated.

"With Nawaz, that was not the case. He is a good enough actor to know that all co-actors are to be respected and I think he responded to me with a lot of warmth and respect which gave me a lot of confidence. There was an unspoken and silent understanding of each other's way of working," said the QISSA actress.

MANTO traces the life of Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, played by Nawazuddin. It has been helmed by actress-director Nandita Das.

"This is the first time that I have worked with a director who is also an actor. Nandita had already taken care of being sensitive to an actor's needs because she has been acting for so long. She had taken care of things that we might have a problem with before we came on the set. She addressed that up front.

"Once that was out of the way, we could focus on nuancing our roles better. Many directors might not understand what an actor's first issue would be. Nandita totally understood that. It was an absolute delight. She would always say 'Read these lines. I know you will have a problem with this line, but don't worry. When we will play it out, it will be fine.

"It was like she read my mind."

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