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Interview: Bombay Talkies actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui

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As a tribute to the completion of 100 years of Bollywood, four renowned filmmakers Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap have directed a short film Bombay Talkies, that was released recently. Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has played the lead role in Dibakar Banerjee's short story.

Siddiqui considers himself quite lucky to be a part of such a great movie like that of Bombay Talkies. Since a past few years, Siddiqui has been struggling a lot to make his own niche in the industry, which turned true with the film Kahaani. According to the actor, the film Kahaani gave him a recognition, while Anurag Kashyap's Gangs Of Wasseypur gave him stardom.

During an interview with Sonika Mishra from Oneindia, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui spoke extensively about his experience in Bollywood so far.

You have struggled in the industry for years. What's your ultimate goal?
Even I don't know this. I had worked so much earlier in the industry, but nobody understood it at that time. But today, people know me and recognise me as an actor and I'm happy about that.

You have done quite different kind of roles so far. How difficult character transformation is for you?
It's certainly quite difficult. In fact, it takes a long time to switch from one onscreen role to the other. I don't believe in doing similar kind of roles in films. I get inspired from people around me to play various kind of roles onscreen.

People started knowing you after the film Kahaani. After Kahaani, you got quite a many films like Aatma, Talaash, etc. So, would you thank Kahaani for giving you a prominent break in Bollywood?
I would say it's not because of Kahaani, but due to Gangs of Wasseypur. People started knowing me after Kahaani. But, had Gangs of Wassepur not been there, people would have always sidelined me only as a supporting actor. Gangs of Wassepur gave me stardom as a lead actor.

What's your take on glamorous roles in Bollywood?
If glamour makes a better difference in my career, then I would make my foray towards glamour. I can wear glasses, dresses worth Rs 250, but if I feel that wearing glasses worth of Rs 60,000 make a better difference for my career, I would certainly buy it. But honestly, I don't think about glamour.

You have so far worked in offbeat movies. Do you wish to work in commercial flicks as well?
People think unless I do a formula film, I'm not a commercial actor. I'm doing only commercial movies, and my films are working well. People have a wrong thought that I don't do commercial movies. What is the meaning of commercialism? It means products that get sold and my movies are getting sold as well. Even my producers and directors are making profits out of these movies. So, what more can be termed as commercialism. As far as the formula movies are concerned, I haven't done it earlier, nor would I like to do any in future.

Is Bollywood all about the Khans, Kapoors and the Bachchans?
I wouldn't like to comment on this. Today, if Ranbir Kapoor is acting well, then I would say he's a good actor. It doesn't matter if he hails from a filmy background.

Share your experience working with Dibakar Banerjee?
He is a very talented director. After working with him, I realised that he has good knowledge about character scripts. He is like a Wikipedia.

Experience Working With Bipasha Basu

How was your experience working with Bipasha Basu in Aatma?
It was a great experience, Bipasha is a very professional actress. If given a second chance, I would love to work with her.

Sanjay Sharma's Film Black Currency

Is it true that you have walked out of Sanjay Sharma's upcoming film Black Currency?
I had given him dates for the film, but he couldn't complete it within time. I had done the film's shooting for only 2 days. Even today, he's a very good friend of mine. If in future I get dates, I'll surely do the film.


You hail from Uttar Pradesh, and UP people are known for their rowdy behaviour. Have you ever behaved in such manner?
Yes, I had done it once in a train. Because of this, I got beaten up. Ever since that day, I changed a lot.


People have said a lot of negative things about you that you are a very short-tempered person...
I'm not at all a negative person. In fact, I'm quite a funny and witty personality. I love to make people laugh.

Upcoming Projects

Your Upcoming Projects?
Currently, I have 11 films in my hand, including Ajab Kissa, Monsoon Shootout and many more.

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