Khateja Qureshi | Published On: Oct, 17, 2022 | 07:18 AM
He was cast as the antagonist in Nagarjuna’s Telugu action thriller Ghost, which released earlier this month. The actor earned appreciation for the role even though the film did not work much at the box office. In conversation with Hindustan Times, Manish talks about how his stint in Aarya earned him that role, and what it was like sharing screen space with Nagarjuna.
Having been seen in films like Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year and Bombay Velvet, Manish found fame with web series like Aarya and Shoorveer. The actor reveals that it was his role as the baddie Shekhawat in Aarya that helped him bag The Ghost. “Praveen Sattaru, the director (of The Ghost), called me and said ‘I have seen you in Aarya and I want you in my film’. It was as simple as that. In Andhra and Telangana, apparently, Aarya became as popular as in the North. He was very keen on getting me for that negative character,” he shares.
The language barrier did play on Manish’s mind even as the director refused to see it. The actor recalls, “I said I don’t know how to speak the language, but he said I shouldn’t worry because people have already seen me speak Telugu in the dubbed version of Aarya.” So after months of language training and diction classes, Manish transformed into Lala and went toe to toe with Nagarjuna, an actor he has admired since he was a student.
Talking about the experience of working with the veteran, Manish says, “The entire climax is between Nag sir and me. For four days, we shot together and it was fantastic. I was telling Praveen, ‘boss mera toh sapna poora ho gaya (My dream has come true)’. When Shiva (Nagarjuna’s Hindi debut, which released in 1990) came out, I was in college at that time, and he made such an impression that I had always admired him. It was wonderful because he was so easy and chill. He has been around for so long so he has been around for so long. So he knows what to do and how to get it done.”
Manish has quite a few projects lined up now. He will be seen in a web series made by Pataal Lok’s Sudeep Sharma, which releases next year. He will also be seen in The Ghost director Praveen Sattaru’s next Telugu film.