Kushan Nandy, the director of upcoming film, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, has voiced his support for actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui — the subject of a racial comment made by the film’s casting director Sanjay Chouhan.
In a recent interview, Chouhan had said, “…Keeping Nawaz in mind, all other characters were taken on board. We can’t cast fair and handsome people with Nawaz. It would look so weird. You have to take people with distinct features and personalities when pairing them with him.” Nawaz reacted to the statement, by tweeting, “Thank U 4 making me realise dat I cannot b paired along wid d fair & handsome bcz I m dark & not good looking, but I never focus on that. (sic)”
What does Kushan have to say about it? “Sanjay made an idiotic, silly statement and I completely stand by the way Nawaz had answered his stupidity. I took the final call on casting. There was no bias towards skin colour for looks. We cast people on the basis of performance and how one fits the character,” he says.
The filmmaker says he understands why Nawaz felt bad, and believes that the concept of good looks is subjective. “Nawaz is an attractive man. His performance in front of the camera says everything.”
Has Kushan spoken to Sanjay regarding his remark (which Sanjay later denied)? “There is nothing to talk to him. The damage is already done,” he says.
This isn’t the first controversy for the film. Actor Chitrangada Singh had opted out, saying she wasn’t comfortable shooting intimate scenes, and recently, Divya Dutta reportedly walked out of the trailer launch, as she felt ignored. As the saying goes, ‘any publicity is good publicity.’ Ask Kushan about it, and he says, “Chitrangada’s allegations were false. She had a problem with her character and not intimate scenes because she had already shot for them. And Divya had to leave early for some other prior commitment and she had informed me about it earlier.”