Irrfan Khan wants to star in Nandita Das’ next Manto

Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das is returning to direction after a gap of almost six years with the life-story of Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto and she says internationally acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan has expressed his desire to play the lead in the film.

Nandita says Irrfan, who himself is a Manto fan and has read a lot of the his work, is a sensitive actor and will be able to pull off the role very effortlessly. “Irrfan has shown a lot of serious interest in the film.

The whole film rests on Manto. It is an amazing role for any actor. “Infact when I spoke to Irrfan he said for this kind of role any actor from the grave would also come out and do it.

He is a very sensitive actor. He himself has read a lot of Manto. Manto speaks to him at a personal level just as it does to me. So I am hoping that we will be able to work together,” said Nandita.

The director has just finished the script and the film will go on floors in August next year. The 46-year-old actor made her directorial debut in 2008 with Firaaq, a political thriller film set one month after the 2002 riots in Gujarat and looked at the aftermath of its effects on the lives of people.

With Manto, Nandita is telling the story of the prolific Pakistani writer, whose works are celebrated in both sides of the border. Manto was tried for obscenity six times; thrice before 1947 in British India, and thrice after independence in 1947 in Pakistan, but never convicted.
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