Even though it’s an ongoing competition when it comes to which actor is the highest paid in the industry, Manto director Nandita Das revealed Nawazuddin Siddiqui essayed the role of the eponymous writer in just INR1 while his co-stars Rishi Kapoor and Javed Akhtar did not take any payment at all.
According to IANS, Nandita revealed that the actor graciously asked for a rupee to play the huge role.
“This is the character that an actor would give an arm and leg for. But to not charge even a nominal fee is very gracious of Nawaz,” the filmmaker said.
Apart from him, there are many prominent actors who agreed to do cameos purely to support the film.
“Rishi Kapoor and Gurdas Maan said yes in our first meeting. I also reached out to many whom I knew well and have used up all my goodwill to get a stellar cast that truly does justice to the characters in the film,” she said.
Talking about veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar’s role, she added, “I have always felt that he would be perfect in front of the camera. I thought it would be quite interesting to have a progressive writer of today defending Manto. You will see him in a new avatar. So not like Javed Saab.”
Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta, Purab Kohli, Rajshri Deshpande and Swanand Kirkire also did not charge for their contribution.
However, speaking about monetary compensations she added, “Trust me, there is more to life than money! The compensation comes in the form of experience and the joy of working on interesting projects. I, too, have done many such projects and have never looked for ‘monetary compensation’.”
Manto was screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year where Nandita Das, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rasika Duggal and Divya Dutta, were present and will release on September 21.