‘Nawaz is very entertaining’, says Kushan Nandy

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Filmmaker Kushan Nandy talks about the controversies surrounding his film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, and his leading man Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Filmmaker Kushan Nandy’s Babumoshai Bandookbaaz has been making a lot of noise since its inception. First its leading lady Chitrangada Singh walked out of the project citing her discomfort over some love-making scenes; and then the casting director of the film was trolled on social media after making unpleasant remarks about Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s (who plays the lead actor) skin tone and the intimate scenes enacted in the film between Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag.

Casting director Sanjay Chouhan, during an interaction had said, “Nawaz was on the project even before its inception. Later Chitrangada Singh, who was roped in to star opposite Nawaz, left the project abruptly. So we had to again hunt for the leading lady. Keeping Nawaz in mind, all other characters were taken on board. We can’t cast fair and handsome people with Nawaz. It would look so weird. You have to take people with distinct features and personalities when pairing them with him.”

Nawazuddin replied to the statement on social media saying, “Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with fair and handsome because I am dark and not good looking, but I never focus on that.”

Ask Kushan about the ugly episode and he says, “It was very foolish of Sanjay to make such a statement. We have never cast anyone based on their colour or looks. He made such a silly statement and all the casting has been done by me. I completey support Nawaz.” He adds that the reaction by the actor was pretty fair. “I stand by him and the project,” he says.

He adds that Nawaz has lived the character. “He was totally committed to the film and has given more than 100 per cent. He had absorbed the script so beautifully and there’s this uniqueness about this character. Because of him the character has reached another level. I always wanted a good actor since the character has so many shades. There is no denying that Nawaz is very entertaining.”

As for Chitrangada, Kushan says that the actress knew about the love making scenes before signing the project because it was mentioned in the script. “She had a difference of opinion over the script,” he says, adding that Bidita who has replaced the actress, had done a fabulous job.

Coming back to the project, the title Babumoshai Bandookbaaz has raised immense curiosity among the viewers. Kushan explains that Babumoshai, is a Bengali salutation like ‘Mr’, so it’s Mr Baandookbaaz. “It gives a sweet feel to the title. Bandookbaaz gives such a dramatic feel considering that Nawaz’s character has both grey and comic shades,” he adds.

The film, produced by Kiran Shyam Shroff and Ashmith Kunder, is about a sharp shooter (played by Nawaz), who lives on the outskirts of a village. Kushan says the idea was to get into the interiors of India. “It’s about everyday life of a man who is not very simple. He lives in total isolation and is very grounded.”

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is scheduled to release on August 25.

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