Nawazuddin Siddiqui is probably considered one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood today, but it took him more than 12 years to build that reputation. Despite all the setbacks, the actor says he isn’t desperate for roles and is extremely happy with the pace at which his career is progressing. “I’ve played some amazing roles with some amazing film-makers,” he says. “I have no complaints. In fact, I think this is a great time to be an actor, as our audience is evolving every day. This only means that an actor will be accepted in a wide array of roles.”
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) July 10, 2017
Nawazuddin’s next film, Munna Micheal, will see him put on his dancing shoes for the first time in a film. He says that dancing makes him uncomfortable, but he took a leap of faith anyway. “I don’t enjoy dancing. I underwent two days of practise on Sabbir’s (Khan, director) insistence,” he says.
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) July 5, 2017
Ask him if he will ever do the conventional prancing-around-a-trees song and dance routine, and he says. “That will never be my style. Plus, where are the trees these days? There are such few tress to run around (laughs).”
The actor who hails from Budhana, Uttar Pradesh says he often takes off to his village to unwind. “I love going back home. I work in the farms and I think that’s what keeps me grounded. In my village, people get excited for two days when my film releases, but after that, they go back to behaving normally. If films hadn’t happened, I would have been a farmer. I don’t want to look at life and think that I’m an achiever. I am a realistic person and I want to be like that.”
Nawazuddin also money isn’t a motivation to work. “For me, money is not important,” he says. “It is not my motivation to work. I have a lot of land in Budhana, and if I wanted money, I could have opened a sugar mill there. Acting makes me happy. It helps me discover myself, so I am here for a very selfish reason.”
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is usually offered intense roles and he admits that they take a lot out of him. But on the upside, he isn’t worried about being typecast. “I don’t think that can happen, since I am not a conventional hero. Also, I haven’t restricted myself to working in a single genre. I’ve tried to be experimental,” he says.
But what attracts him towards playing grey characters? “I think they have more scope to perform. With roles that are black or white — negative or positive — you have to follow certain character graphs. Grey roles allow you extra room for improvement. They’re more real and personal,” Nawaz says.
In the day and age, when most actors use social media to communicate with their fans, Nawazuddin says he tries to restrict his interaction to just the professional sphere. “I don’t use Twitter for personal interactions. When you post something, someone takes it out of context and then there is unnecessary drama and things get blown out of proportion. We should stop being so involved with social media,” he says.