There were rumours that Nawazuddin Siddiqui had lost the role of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray in upcoming biopic on the controversial leader, owing to the actor's controversial memoir that made a lot of noise with shocking revelations about his past relationships, one-night stands and extramarital affairs.
Contrary to the rumours, producer-writer Sanjay Raut confirmed to Mid-day that Nawazuddin will indeed be playing the role of Bal Thackeray in the movie.
"Nawazuddin is a talented actor. If you look at his filmography, he is among the top five actors we have. He has done theatre, and knows how to get into the skin of a character," Sanjay Raut, who had worked with the late politician for over two decades, said.
In fact, Nawaz's first look is out and the talented actor looks every bit of Shiv Sena's former chief. Check it out.
First look of movie based on #HinduHrudaySamratBalaSahebThackeray @Nawazuddin_S will portray #BalaSahebThackeray @AUThackeray @Rajput_Ramesh @rautsanjay61 @AmolGKirtikar @AmeyGhole @samadhan234 @DurgeSainath @Iamrahulkanal pic.twitter.com/AAvWQJlLbn— Amit Bhadricha (@AmitBhadricha) December 21, 2017
Raut also dismissed the rumours of roping in a Muslim actor to play the role of Thackeray could cause turmoil and said, "Balasaheb never hated Muslims. He was never against them. His fight was against those who supported Pakistan, and encouraged terrorism, irrespective of their religion."
"We have cast an actor [for his talent], not his religion," he added.
Talking about the biopic, Raut said, "We will portray the important events in his life. He was a leader who did not hide anything from his people. We want to reveal his personality. It is my dream project. It won't be a documentary. It will be a feature film along the lines of those made for Mahatma Gandhi and [Nelson] Mandela."
While the biopic will also refer to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast, Raut said, "People spread several rumours about him during that time. He did not start any riot. He had nothing to do with it. His life story is vast; we are trying to include as many chapters as possible in the film."