Mumbai: Director Ketan Mehta feels no one but Nawazuddin Siddiqui could've played the titular role in "Manjhi - The Mountain Man" since his 15-year-long struggle in the industry was nothing less than breaking a mountain.
"Even Nawaz has broken a mountain in his life. A man who has come from a small village and established his position in Bollywood is like breaking a mountain for 15 years to reach this level," Mehta said at the Indian Institute Of Technology-Bombay which he visited with the actor as part of the film's promotion.
"Nawaz is the best actor of his generation which everyone believes nowadays. Secondly, his physical type also perfectly matches with Dashrath Manjhi on whom this film is based on. Manjhi too was a short man with a lean physique. The intensity in him was amazing, especially in his eyes and that same intensity can be seen in Nawaz's eyes. And this intensity has pulled him to this level today," said Mehta about the similarities between the two.
Nawazuddin had started out in bit roles or one-scene roles in films like "Sarfarosh", "Munnabhai MBBS" among others before making his impression in films such as "Kahaani" and "Gangs Of Wasseypur II". He is now riding high with his performance in the blockbuster Salman Khan-starrer "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".
Actress Radhika Apte plays Nawazuddin's love interest in the film, for which he sets about breaking a mountain, a story inspired from Manjhi's life. The film is releasing on August 21.