Manisha Koirala is all set to bounce back with a pivotal role in Raj Kumar Hirani’s biopic on Sanjay Dutt. In the film, Ranbir Kapoor plays Sanjay Dutt, Dia Mirza plays Maanayata, Sonam Kapoor will star as Dutt’s first wife Richa and Koirala will play Sanjay’s late mother Nargis.
Is there a sense of identification because Nargis, like Manisha, was diagnosed with cancer? Manisha shrugs off the connection. “I don’t think Raju (Hirani) offered me the role just because I went through the same illness. That is no qualification. The fact that Raju saw me worthy of playing Nargisji means a lot to me.”Promising to try her best to do justice to the role, she adds that she has always been a fan of the actress.
“Who isn’t? And I’ve worked with Sanjay in a number of films, most of them forgettable,” she laughs, adding, “Hopefully, this time I will create some magic with Ranbir. I am a big admirer of his work. I’ve seen his rushes as Sanjay. No actor of his generation has the same passion to excel, to make every character real and memorable. I’ve been waiting to get to work with Ranbir. Now, I finally have that opportunity.”
She’s 46 and is playing mother to a 30-plus hero. No hangups? She retorts, “Don’t forget, I played Nana Patekar’s wife and daughter during the same year in Agni Sakshi and Khamoshi. I’m over 40, and am still too young to play the conventional mother, the kind who says, ‘Beta mere liye ek bahu laa de’ or the vampish mother-in-law in serials. Luckily, roles for women my age are now being written.
I am comfortable with my age and the work that I’m getting. Really, it can’t get any better than playing Nargis Dutt in a film directed by the one-and-only Raj Kumar Hirani. I am honoured.”
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