As an actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has tried his hand at quite a lot of variety — be it playing a tough inspector in Kahaani, a menacing antagonist in Kick, or even biopics such as Thackeray and Manto.
He hasn’t shied away from doing masala potboilers too, and he is not at all apprehensive about doing more. “There’s nothing like I won’t do them. The thing is, when I was in National School of Drama (NSD), we would do plays of every kind — in the Sanskrit language, with Parsi songs, dialogue deliveries which were long and required us to shout, William Shakespeare, Anton Chekov, realistic too. That’s an actor’s job, to do roles of every kind,” he quips.
This is why he doesn’t like any actor to be labelled according to the platform or medium they perform on the most, like say television or film actor. Siddiqui adds, “Acting toh acting hoti hai, chaahe ped pe chadh ke karo, street pe nukkad natak ya stage pe, a good actor will be good everywhere. Baat acting ki karo, categorise karna theek nahi hai. Har style ka film ya theatre karna chahiye, enhancement hota hai. Yeh nahi ki particular ek hi cheez… that’s why I like acting. I get a chance to invent and discover with every film, what can be better than that?”
In a career spanning more than two decades, Siddiqui has done more than 30 films, and his journey in itself has been an inspiration, from blink and miss appearances to the leading man. But have there, at any point, been any films that he regretted doing afterwards?
He confesses that he has indeed done some films — only for the money he was being offered. “Haan, maine paison ke liye films kari hain, aur aage bhi karunga. I do such films, where I am getting a lot of money, so that I can do good cinema, where I don’t get money, or which I can do for free. I won’t do for free, but I did it for Manto (2018), I didn’t take any (money). But for that three-four months process, I have to either do a film for money before or after it for a balance. It’s only then you can do a Manto for free,” he admits.
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