Nawazuddin Siddiqui is trying to strike a fine balance between commercial and indie cinema, but the actor says he still feels a little hesitant to accept a typical masala film as it often fails to provide scope for performance.
Despite being a part of several commercial hits such as Badlapur, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Raees, the 43-year-old actor says it is his small-budget films that give him a kick to explore various sides to him as an artiste.
"Im not always able to select those films which follow a particular trend. All my solo films such as Manjhi and Raman Raghav 2.0 are different. They are not typical Bollywood films, which are generally liked by the audience.
"The kind of films I do, might be difficult to understand but they have a lot of scope to perform, which I enjoy the most," Nawaz tells PTI.
The actors recent outing "Babumoshai Bandookbaaz" has done decent business at the box office and the actor says he never thought the film would receive positive feedback since it had "adult" content. "The film had a limited budget and the content was also adult so we were scared whether or not people will come to theatres to watch it.
"We were unsure of the business because we made quite a different and besharam (shameless) film as the characters were also unlikeable. But Im happy that people from small towns went to see the movie and liked it."
"Babumoshai Bandookbaaz", however, was unable to impress the film critics, who disapproved of its content but Nawazuddin says what matters the most to him is the reception by the audience. "Nowadays any critic can bash a film in whichever way they want to. Everyone knows that they would only criticise. Some of them are biased. They often appreciate only certain people because of groupism.
"Im not saying all critics are same, but for me the most important thing is how the audience is reacting to my film. What would I do with four stars if no one turns up for my film? So, what the audience thinks is the most important thing," he says.
Nawaz is known to speak his mind -- be it his take on nepotism or his remarks on the existence of racism in Bollywood -- he has time and again proved that he is one fearless star in the industry.
"You should always express what you feel and never be afraid of putting up your opinions, no matter how difficult the situation gets. And I think I have earned this place where I can express my views if I feel something is wrong."
Nawaz recently called out Bollywood stars for endorsing fairness creams and the actor maintains his stand. "Promoting a fairness cream is shamelessness. Stars must stop endorsing it. I keep saying this and Ill always say that people should be ashamed of themselves for endorsing the fairness creams.''