It only takes one to read Manto to be completely smitten by the writer and Rasika Dugal is the latest one on the bandwagon.

According to NDTV, the actor, who is starring alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Das’ film Manto, was all praise for the writer’s work after having read his essays.

“Just being with Manto’s stories in the last few months has been an empowering experience. I’ve read many of his short stories but I’d not read his essays before. It makes you feel close to Manto in a sense.”

Rasika Dugal essays the role of Manto’s wife Safia in the biopic.

She added that his work is more relevant now than ever. “Freedom of speech is something which is being tested in the times that we’re living in now and his work could not be more relevant. That’s something I really want to carry from him – the fearlessness and the courage.”

Dugal, who essays the role of Manto’s wife Safia in the biopic, felt that Nawazuddin is the right choice to play the writer.

“I have a lot of respect for Nawaz. I really look up to him. I was a little nervous because of that respect for him as an actor. I was like, ‘I hope, I’m able to match up to his skills’. But Nawaz is so funny and relaxed. I was excited that he was playing Manto because if you have a good co-actor and in this case, the brilliant one, then your job is done. You just have to be on the set and the scene will work.”

Nandita Das unveiled the first look of Manto at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

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Asif Ullah Khan

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