Rajshri Deshpande, who has been roped in to essay the role of writer Ismat Chughtai in upcoming movie Manto, says she always wanted to be a part of the “beautiful world” that actress-filmmaker Nandita Das creates with her work.
“It’s an honour to be a part of a story so great. Just like my other projects, Ismat Chughtai is not a character I’m playing, it’s an emotional and mental state I’m getting into,” Rajshri said in a statement.
She will start shooting end of March.
Being helmed by Nandita, Manto” is a biopic on late writer Saadat Hasan Manto. It will be tracing the life of Manto at the time of the India-Pakistan Partition. It features Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the prolific short story writer, and Rasika Dugal essays his wife.
Rajshri says she is “excited to be working with Nandita”. “She puts a lot of heart in each of her stories. She creates a beautiful world with her stories and I’ve always wanted to be a part of her world,” she added.
Rajshri says working with Nawazuddin is inspiring, and she can’t wait to get on the sets. She said, “He becomes the character he plays. You sometimes cannot differentiate between him and his character and that’s what a great actor stands for. It’s always a pleasure watching him, all you need to do is immerse yourself in his experience.”
Talking about her role, Rajshri said, “This personality, Ismat aapa, comes with so much baggage and I’ll find myself lucky if I am able to portray even one percent of who she was. My name being associated with her in any way is a big deal in itself. She’s always believed in never being ashamed of anything. Her liberal views and thoughts on unspoken and taboo subjects is what draws me to her. She has been a voice for so many women all over the country, only if we could live half the life she lived.”
The film also stars Javed Akhtar and late actor Om Puri.