MUMBAI: Actor Prashant Narayanan, brilliant in his award-winning role as a vicious serial killer in Murder 2, is known to be very particular about whom he works with. In the past he has turned down plum roles in prestigious assignments merely because he wasn’t happy with his co-stars. That explains the scarcity of assignments in this brilliant actor’s career.
Last week, on location for Manish Gupta’s political thriller Main Nahin Anna at Madh Island, Prashant apparently refused to shoot when he saw his co-star was the veteran bit-player Manmauji who plays Anna Hazare in Gupta’s film. On seeing Manmauji Prashant Naryanan threw a fit. Reportedly the actor came to blows with his director over the issue.
Says the harrowed director Gupta, “Prashant refused to shoot with Manmauji arguing that someone else was supposed to play Anna Hazare. It is true actor Surendra Rajan was supposed to play Anna Saab. But Surendra had to opt out at the last minute. And we got Manmauji who is a veteran comic actor with five decades of acting experience.”
Apparently Prashant felt a bit comedian playing someone of Anna Hazare’s stature was a bit too much. Argues Gupta, “But when you see Manmauji you’d be shocked at his transformation. He looks exactly like Anna Hazare.And besides why should my leading man decide who is to be cast in my film? It was my decision to cast Manmauji, and Prashant better accept it.”
Last heard, Prashant refused to relent.
Neither was the director Manish Gupta in the mood to give in. “I won’t succumb to such pressure tactics. Prashant screamed at me and my producer Mridul Singhvi, ‘How dare you cast a C-grade comedian to play Anna Hazare?’ But we know what we’re doing and Prashant better accept it.” Despite repeated messages Prashant Narayanan remained unavailable for comment.