The natural actor, who just bagged a National Award this year, Nawazuddin Siddiqui gets candid and speaks about his roles, unusual pairing, offbeat films and a lot more.
You have seen a lot of struggle. Have there been times when you felt you should just give up? What kept you going?
That had been quite a lot of times. Acting was my passion that I have to do, and do well. I couldn’t have gone anywhere else, nor done anything else, because I knew nothing but just this. Where would I have gone? And with what face?
When did the “acting ka keeda” inject you?
It was quite late realization for me; it was after graduation and that too by chance. I was jobless and had nothing to do, and a friend of mine took me for a play. After watching the play I felt “haan yeh correct hai”. Now I don’t even remember the play well.
The pairing with Huma in Gangs of Wasseypur and the pairing with Bipasha in Aatma has been very unusual and is positively accepted. So does the taller lead funda works on screen for you?
It feels great, actually. It is like the audiences will remember the pairing for a long time. For Aatma, it’s like, the scenes are very beautifully shot and will be something that the audiences will not forget for a long time.
You do a lot of offbeat films. Offbeat films as a career, how is that in your opinion?
Now at this point of time, there is no such difference between offbeat films and commercial films. That doesn’t exist now. The demarcation that exists is only of a good film and a bad film. Even those offbeat are doing well at the box office, hence there is no tag of ‘offbeat films’ now or commercial films.
100 crore club, what do you have to say about that? How much pressure do you think is upon an actor?
See I have no idea about this and what I feel is that the quality of cinema gets deteriorated. I don’t believe in the 100 crore tag. Films should touch the audiences, should be a step closer to them, people would appreciate and remember it.
You did quite a few workshops with Suparn. How helpful were those?
There was no physical workshop done for the role. The whole process was a conversation sort, where Suparn was preparing me for the role, explaining me the emotional connect I should have and the moments where a man is left astounded and scared. We were recreating and recalling such instances.
You will not do a second lead anymore you have recently said, why so?
Yes. Even now the projects which are lined up are the ones in which I am in the lead roles. And there was a phase in my life, I even did character roles, even did one minute appearances then two minutes, then three, and so on and now lead roles. I believe that, that phase has passed and now lead role phase has begun. Everyone wants to improve in one’s life. Now my character role days are gone. I even have the right now for lead roles, and want to do that only.