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Shreyas Talpade is as endearing as the character he played in Nagesh Kukunoor's Iqbal. He bowls you over with his cheerfulness and humility.

Shreyas seems unfazed about being catapulted into the big league overnight. He is already set to play a young M F Husain. The film on the legendary artist's life is tentatively titled The Making Of The Painter.

Sitting in his home in Mumbai's Lokhandwala suburb, Shreyas lets us peek into his real life.

I had seen Nagesh Kukunoor's Bollywood Calling and Teen Deewarein and liked his work. When I heard Nagesh was auditioning for his new film, I went for it. I thought even a small role would make a difference, as Nagesh always etches out his characters well.

I had no clue about the role during the auditions. Nagesh just said it was for an important role. At the end of the third round, Nagesh told me it was for the lead. He signed me after he was convinced about my bowling action and body language.

Iqbal had a great story, a great role, was produced by a big banner like Mukta Arts and had stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Girish Karnad. It was a great opportunity.

In the picture: Shreyas poses with awards he has recieved over the years for various stage and screen performances, and his most prized possession: M F Husain's Iqbal painting.

Interview: Radhika Rajamani
Photographs: Jewella C Miranda
Design: Uday Kuckian

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