Thackeray was a fine patriot: Nawazuddin

Anjali Jhangiani
Saturday, 19 January 2019

"There wasn’t just one outstanding quality about him, there were thousands of admirable qualities in Balasaheb. He was fearless and did not indulge in hypocrisy. He worked so hard, and so much, for the local people of his State - the Marathi manus. He was a fine patriot. He said Jai Hind before saying Jai Maharashtra," said Nawazuddin Siddiqui

PUNE: Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and politician-producer Sanjay Raut were in the city to promote their upcoming film, Thackeray, based on the life of Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray. 

In an exclusive interview with Sakal Times, Siddiqui spoke about getting to know the founder of Shiv Sena as he studied to portray the character in his biopic. "There wasn’t just one outstanding quality about him, there were thousands of admirable qualities in Balasaheb. He was fearless and did not indulge in hypocrisy. He worked so hard, and so much, for the local people of his State - the Marathi manus. He was a fine patriot. He said Jai Hind before saying Jai Maharashtra," said the actor who admitted that he did not know much about the politician before taking up this role. But after portraying the character in the film, Siddiqui feels inspired by his virtues.  

“An actor’s job is to get into the skin of the character. If the actor finds good qualities in the character, he ends up imbibing them. The actor brings something from his own life and experiences to the way he plays the character too. Somewhere, there is a give and take between the character and the actor. Once the film is done, the actor moves on to another role to be inspired by new and different things,” he said.

Explaining this rather odd choice of actor for the role of Thackeray, Raut said, “Nawazuddin was born to play this role. We auditioned many actors and were in talks with them when one day while I was abroad, I saw Freaky Ali. Nawazuddin’s gait, manner of speaking, and care-free attitude caught my eye and I asked him to meet me in Mumbai without revealing anything. When he came to see me, I told him that I wanted him to play the role of Balasaheb. Needless to say, he was shocked,” said Raut. 

Talking about why he chose to write the script and produce the film on Thackeray’s life now, Raut said, “In this country, there are very few politicians who are so popular even abroad. Balasaheb, even though he never contested any election, had a lot of fan following not only in India but also in foreign countries. He was a respected man who became a respected politician. This story should be told. It is difficult to fit it in two hours, but we have tried.

The film is scheduled to release on January 23, on the 93rd birth anniversary of Thackeray. It is also made in Marathi.” 

(For detailed interview check the Plus Four section on January 21).

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