Another biopic, another Nawaz
Mountain-man Dashrath ‘Manji’, Saadat Hasan ‘Manto’ and now Bal ‘Thackrey’, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui seems to have mastered the art of doing a biopic.
Spelling out his mantra, he says, “My training at Bhartendu Natya Academy, Lucknow, and National School of Drama has helped me a lot. I can apply the techniques and have done lot of hard work for it. I just try to understand the character, then get into it with full shakti and just try to come close to it and do justice. I am successful or not that’s up to the audience to decide,” he says on his visit to Lucknow.
The actor was accompanied by co-actor Amrita Rao and politician, writer Sanjay Raut and co-producer Purvashi Sanjay Raut.
“Playing the role of Balasaheb is any actor’s dream. I was not lucky to meet him personally but I studied about him and watched his videos to catch the finer nuances. He was a great orator but he used to converse than giving speeches which was a challenge. Then I had to learn his mannerism and other nuances. It was difficult to wear prosthesis nose and act with it but the real credit goes to the make-up man who did the job,” he says.
Having done three biopics so far, he has thirst for more. “Had I been a female I would have loved to do a biopic of Teejan Bai. Painter MF Hussain is another person who fascinates me a lot,” he says.
Thackrey has been part of various controversies, including drive against UP and Bihar people. “When I do a role then I go with the conviction of script and the role I am playing. I believe in the belief of the character than my take on it.”
Producer-writer Sanjay Raut chips in, “Jahan Thakrey hai, wahan controversy hai! And, we have included everything in the film.” He was referring to controversies regarding censor board objection.
He says that they have not tried to play a Hindutva card with the film. “Balasaheb was a rashtravaadi. As the film says that he has put country first and then comes state and other things. We have not tried to change anything. Everything is in public light. He has never done anything behind the curtain — be it smoking cigar, savouring wine or expressing his thought,” says Raut.
Amrita plays Thackrey’s wife (Mina) in the film. “I have mostly played girl-next-door roles so far. This is not about a girl but of a woman who was very mature. I did not have much reference point as no video and audios were available. I just had a few photographs and narration, so I went back to my dadi’s albums and took inspiration from it.”
The actor says she is not afraid of similar roles coming her way. “Industry has a tendency to typecast actors in a particular role. But now, new mediums like web-based shows have shaped up very well and people are watching them too. Some good content is being made on web and that will change the course of films too,” she adds.
Sanjay Raut says they are working on the sequel of the film. “We just want masses to know about Balasaheb. It has nothing to do with politics nor have we timed it with elections,” he says.