Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays the late Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto in the film, offered to do it just for "Re 1 largely for the movie Manto and a little bit" for the director Nandita Das. Celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Gurdas Maan and Javed Akhtar didn't charge a penny for the movie. "This is the character that an actor would give an arm and leg for. But to not charge even a nominal fee is very gracious of Nawaz," Nandita said in a statement. Apart from him, there are many eminent actors who agreed to do small parts purely to support the film. "While many have done cameo roles, they all bring their talent and credibility to the characters." Actor Paresh Rawal had worked with her in "Firaaq" and now in "Manto". Talking about the same Nandita said; "Politically, we may have differing views, but there is a mutual respect as an artist and I am truly grateful he did the role to perfection," she said. Talking about veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar, she said: "I have known Javed Saab even before I did 'Fire'. And I have always felt that he would be perfect in front of the camera. "I thought it would be quite interesting to have a progressive writer of today defending 'Manto'. You will see him in a new avatar." "Trust me, there is more to life than money! The compensation comes in the form of experience and the joy of working on interesting projects. I, too, have done many such projects and have never looked for 'monetary compensation'," said Nandita. Celebrities like Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta, Purab Kohli, Rajshri Deshpande and Swanand Kirkire also worked for free for the film.