Rizwan Manji on teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese for the film The Wolf of Wall Street
Rizwan Manji, popular for his role as Rajiv, the scheming manager in NBC’s Outsourced, teams up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese in the just released The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s his biggest break, but Rizwan prefers to keep expectations low by saying “It’s an important but fairly minor role and more than that, it’s a dream-come-true for me — working with Martin Scorsese.”
The Indo-Canadian Rizwan plays stockbroker Khalil in a film that also stars some big Hollywood names, including Academy Award nominees Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) and Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Academy Award-winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist), and well-known actors Matthew McConaughey (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Kyle Chandler (Zero Dark Thirty). The biographical black comedy is based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name. Jordan was a young stockbroker who came to Wall Street in the 1990s and set up a brokerage scheme that sold penny stocks to thousands of investors. The fraud made him a multi-millionaire, and his story has earlier inspired the 2000 film Boiler Room.
“I shot for six weeks for my role and was on the sets all the time. There are six of us brokers, so I would act a little and finish my job, but since I was required to be there all the time, it turned out to be a great learning experience,” says Rizwan. On working with the award-winning director, he says, “Every director has a distinct style. Scorsese’s mainstay is his enthusiasm. I remember him narrating my shot to me at 4 a.m. and he seemed all pepped up.” Rizwan admits that though he is getting interesting offers from the film fraternity, his heart is set on television. “As mean as he was, I loved playing Rajiv (Outsourced). I can’t deny I thoroughly enjoyed doing The Wolf of Wall Street and Dr Cabbie (Salman Khan’s first international production) that will release next year, but television is special and will remain so. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to Bollywood,” he says. Rizwan’s first acting break was in the 2001 film American Desi.