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Manisha Koirala to play Nargis in Sanjay Dutt biopic 

The actress will now play mother to Ranbir Kapoor's Sanjay Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani's biopic. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

Manisha Koirala has joined the cast of Sanjay Dutt's untitled biopic in the role of Dutt's mother, Nargis Dutt. The news was confirmed by director Rajkumar Hirani in an interview to a Mumbai daily. 

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, the director said, "Manisha is playing Nargisji. She's a wonderful person, extremely sweet." 

Koirala has been missing from Hindi cinema since she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Hirani pointed out Koirala's fight with the disease as one of the reasons for casting her. He said, "We were thinking of many actresses. And while Manisha is really pretty and a fantastic actress, my primary reason for taking her is that she's a cancer survivor and, having been through the journey herself, can identify with Nargisji's fight with the Big C. When we met, she told me a little about that journey." 

Incidentally, Manisha Koirala has played Sanjay Dutt's love interest onscreen in films like Kartoos (1999) and Khauff (2000).

The addition of Koirala brings the casting for the film to a completion. With Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt, actor Paresh Rawal is set to play Sunil Dutt, while Dia Mirza will play the role of Dutt's wife, Manyata and Sonam Kapoor is to play an actress Sanjay was linked with. Reportedly, Anushka Sharma has also been cast as a journalist tracking the story. 

The film is expected to arrive in theatres on Christmas 2017.