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Nawazuddin Siddiqui to play role of Balasaheb in biopic

Mumbai: Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui said today that he is grateful for getting the opportunity to play the role of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray in a biopic.

Starring Nawazuddin in the titular role, the biopic penned by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, will be directed by Abhijit Panse.

Speaking at the launch of a teaser of the film on Thackeray, Nawazuddin said, “It’s an important day for me today as the teaser of the film is launched. I have got the opportunity to play the role of great personality like him, I think any actor would have agreed to play his role.”

The teaser was launched here by superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

“I am thankful and grateful to Sanjay Raut, Uddhav Thackeray, Abhijit for the film and Bachchan sir for launching the teaser. I am sure Abhijit and we would take this biopic upto the mark,” Nawazuddin, who is shooting in Mauritius, said via video conference.

“Everyone would be thinking, how can I speak Marathi, let me tell you, Bal Thackeray sahab would be giving me inspiration and would be showering his blessings (on me) to play the part,” he said, in Marathi.

Bachchan said he was grateful for being invited for the teaser launch. He said a three-hour film will be too short to bring Thackeray’s illustrious life on-screen.

“I don’t think Balasaheb’s life can be shown in three hours. I wish there is a series made on him of three-four hours, for his personality, work, life is much beyond a film.

I feel it should be shown in a of many episodes. I congratulate and wish Sanjay Raut the best for this film.

“If I am required for the film I would love to be part of it in any capacity. I will always be ready to contribute to this film, in every way possible,” Bachchan said.

Bachchan said he looked at Thackeray as a father figure.

“We were very close to each other, we were more like family. I respect him a lot,” he said.

The “Pink” star recalled that when he got married, Thackeray had called him saying he wants to meet his newly wedded Jaya Bachchan.

Bachchan said Thackeray stood by him in his tough times.

“I got an opportunity to meet him. I was there with Uddhav, Aditya (Thackeray) and another person. We were only praying for him because we wanted him to live long with us. I never wanted to see him in this state, it was a tough time to see him like that.

“I was surprised to see my picture in his room, next to his head. I was stunned and that moment has been captured for life,” Bachchan said. The biopic will release on 23 January, 2019.

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