No one in the Indian film industry has broken the traditional image of an actor quite like Nawazuddin Siddiqui has. While many actors in the past have challenged the mainstream and received accolades for their work, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Irrfan Khan are fine examples of that.
However, due to the absence of social media during the time of the above-mentioned actors, we aren’t as well aware of their struggle as we are of Nawazudin Siddiqui’s struggle.
It’s now almost 5 years since the time the world stopped to take a careful look at Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s talent when Gangs of Wasseypur and Kahaani came out. Thus, it’s obviously interesting to know how this newfound status in the industry has changed Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a person.
In the latest interview with Rajeev Masand, Nawaz sheds a light on this question:
“Badlaav to bass ye hai ki main toh jaisa hun vaisa hun, doosron ka dekhne ka nazariya badal gaya hai aur agar main bohot sasti baat bhi karta hun to bohot seriously le leta hun us cheez ko. Halaanki main toh usi instinct se kaam karta hun jisse pehle kaam karta tha kyonki mujhe dar hai ki agar kahin vo miss kar di to performance mein cruption aa jaayega. Ye darr humesha rehta hai mujhe”
(I am how I have always been, however, the only change is that people have started looking at me differently now and if I say something cheap, it’s still taken very seriously. However, I still work with the same instinct that I used to because I fear if I lose it then my performance will get corrupted. I’m always bothered by this fear.)
On being asked about his particularly unlikeable character in Haraamkhor, Nawaz said
“Main sach bataun to main har us unlikeable character ko karna chahta hun jisko dekh ke lage ki meri image kharaab ho jaayegi is character se, main usi ko grab karna chahta hun sabse pehle kyonki hum log ek cliched mein phasse hue hote hain ki mujhe three-piece pehen ke hi character karna hai aur character bohot hi patriotic ho aur aisa ho aur vaisa ho. I think maybe uss tarah ka cinema bhi bohot achha lag raha hai logon ko aaj kal to, lekin mera zaayka thoda alag hai. Main har tarah ki filmein, har tarah ke kirdaar karna chahta hun”
(To tell you the truth, I wanna do every unlikeable character that could spoil my image, I wanna grab that before everyone else because we often remain stuck in teh cliched that I wanna wear a three-piece and the character will be very patriotic and bla bla. I think maybe people are appreciating that kind of cinema these days however my taste is a little different. I wanna do every kind of film and every kind of role.
Then finally on being asked about the recently deceased actor Om Puri and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s experience of working with him on Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Nawaz said:
“Bohot hi kamaal ka anubhav tha. Salman bhai, main, Om saab, Kabir bhai.. hum log raat ke teen-teen baje tak baithe rehte the sardiyon mein. Bilkul bachchon ki tarah baatein karte the Om saab. Apne actor ko zinda rakha unhone bhale ho bohot saari pareshaaniyan rahi ho unki life mein, lekin apne andar ke actor ko humesha taro-taaza, bachche ki tarah rakha.”
(It was an amazing experience. Salman bhai, me, Om saab, Kabir bhai.. we would sit till 3 am in winters. Om saab would talk like a child. Despite having a lot of personal problems, he always kept the actor in him alive. Always kept the actor in him fresh like a child)