Nikhil Diwedi Refuses to Bare for Mani Ratnam, Panic Search for Body Double
All that talk of aspiring actor Nikhil Diwedi, doing a nude sequence for Mani Ratnam’s Raavan was a bit premature. The fact is, Nikhil shied at the last minute about going all the way( “What will my family say?”), thereby creating a panic in the jungles where the film was shot.
Says a very reliable source from the unit, “The first ever male nude sequence in a Hindi film almost didn’t happen . Nikhil Diwedi, who had to do the scene opted out . The director Mani Ratnam, tried to explain that the scene was not for titillation. It is a scene of police torture …in reverse. Usually it’s the cops who are shown torturing suspected offenders. Here it was the other way around. Beera(Abhishek) and his men capture a cop played by Nikhil Diwedi. They strip and torture him.”
This is was when Nikhil put his foot down. He flatly refused to perform the ‘rear’ feat arguing that his family and friends would be deeply mortified.
“Sir main apne ghar walon ko kya mooh dikhanoonga?”, Diwedi, apparently whined in front of the baffled director who wasn’t used to hearing no.
Says the source, “All attempts to convince Nikhil to bare, failed. Mani Ratnam, was at his wit’s end. His assistants reminded Nikhil that the actor’s counterpart in Tamil(John Vijay) had willingly bared all. But Nikhil was immovable. They finally had to get a body-double with …(shall we see) …similar vital statistics to stand in for Nikhil.”
When contacted, Diwedi was scared to talk, “I am not allowed to say anything. But if you’re talking about full-frontal nudity then sorry I won’t do it. We Indians have a certain inbuilt censorship.”
While Diwedi demurred, Rahul Bose, had no qualms stripping for the camera in Dev Benegal’s Split Wide Open. Ranbir Kapoor dropped the towel, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya .Even Anil Kapoor, did a sequence in the buff for Shankar’s Nayak.,Recently, John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh did police interrogation scenes in the nude for Kabir Khan’s New York and Madhur Bhandarkar’s Jail, respectively.
Says Rajit Kapoor, “What’s the big deal about going nude for the camera? I did it in Train To Pakistan, 20 years ago.”
–Subash K. Jha/ Sampurn Wire