NEW DELHI – Actress-turned-filmmaker Nandita Das is all set to present a film on renowned writer Saadat Hasan Manto, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal. Nawazuddin stars in the titular role while Rasika plays his wife Safia.

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

Of Saadat Hasan Manto’s work, the actress said that they speak of ‘fearlessness.’ “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.

“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,” Rasika added.

On working with Nawazuddin, she said, “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.”