"That’s an actor’s job, to do roles of every kind.”
Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of Bollywood’s most versatile and diverse actors.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui has tried his hand at quite a lot of variety of roles from playing a tough inspector in Kahaani (2012) to a menacing antagonist in Kick (2014).
He has even starred in biopics such as Thackeray (2019) and Manto (2018).
He hasn’t shied away from doing masala potboilers too, and unlike some actors, he is not at all apprehensive about doing more.
Explaining his conundrum he says:
“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.
“Plays 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.”
Nawazuddin Siddiqui 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.
“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?”
(Acting is acting, whether you climb a tree to do it or perform on the street, a good actor will be good everywhere.
Talk about acting, do not categorise.
You should act in everything, an actor is enhanced that way. There is not a particular thing to do… That’s why I like acting.)
In a career spanning more than two decades, Siddiqui has done more than 30 films.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s 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:
“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.”
Manto was a biographical period drama, based on Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui.