Actor Manav Kaul, who caught the audience’s eye with his role of Bittu Mama in Bollywood film Kai Po Che, says he was on cloud nine to bag an important role in Hansal Mehta’s upcoming film City Lights.
After debuting in Bollywood with Jajantaram Mamantaram, Manav went on to do films like 1971 and Daayen Ya Baayen, which did not do that well at the box office.
City Lights is an official adaptation of Metro Manila, which was Britain’s entry to the Oscars this year. The film stars Manav’s Kai Po Che’ co-star Rajkumar Yadav in the main lead. “I got a call that Hansal Mehta is making City Lights and he wants to meet me. I was like wow! That was my reaction. I feel that every actor should work with Hansal Mehta,” said Manav.
He credits Mehta for bringing out his career’s best performance in City Lights. “In the movie, I play Vishnu, who works in a security agency. He is the boss of Rajkumar’s character. I never thought that I could have done a role like this. It was due to a director like Hansal. As an actor there is an ‘I’ one sees in oneself. However, the directors see you in a different light. If you follow the instructions the director is giving, you would be surprised to see the performance that comes out,” he added.
Mehta’s last release Shahid, the biographical film on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, touched Manav’s heart to the extent that he wanted to be a part of the movie. “When I saw Shahid, I thought why am I not there in the film? I loved it so much. The way it has been shot, acted, it feels absolutely real. As an actor you want to work with directors who treat everything so real, honest and nice,” Manav said.