Candid with High on Persona – Nawazuddin Siddiqui
From Budhana to Bollywood, NAWAZUDDIN SIDIQQUI’s journey to stardom is mired with struggle, pitfalls and a battle for survival. Tale of his life itself is no less than a script of Bollywood which evokes pathos and poignancy. The man hailed from a city where 3 Gs gun, ganna, and gehun dominated the livelihood. He is a truly inspiring story for fledglings and greenhorns, a story from nowhere to everywhere, Contently slogging and unending hardship became his every day’s work pattern. Even after making a foray in tinsel town he had to struggle for years and settle for frivolous and small roles, that second phase of the struggle for him. From his first debut movie with Aamir Khan’s Sarfarosh in 1999 to his recent movie Raees and Oscar-nominated Lion, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has finally got the Guernsey and share of superstardom. The star has finally arrived. High on Persona is overawed with this self-made persona and spoke to him on a myriad of issues, personal and professional.
Q. How are you enjoying your current state of success after a long journey of struggle?
Despite all the box office and critical success I have been receiving I still don’t consider my self successful in the traditional way , I am of the opinion that the moment I start resting on my laurels I will stop growing as a performer and actor and passion that I have to reach new frontiers will not be there any longer. I am always trying to look for new frontiers to conquer, I don’t want to get stagnated at this point of time in my career.
I have already shared screen space with three Khans of Bollywood, Bachchan Saaheb ke Saath kaam karnaa apnee uplabdhi maanunga. Jaldi hi vo din bhi aayega. There are no limitations as such for an actor in the Mumbai film industry I feel that entire sky to reach for and I do intend to do that, I will not be satisfied unless I reach the highest point in my career. I have worked for 12 years and intend to leave my footprints on the minds and hearts of my audience for a very long time to come.
Q How success has changed yours as a person?
The fact remains I am a human being and after such a long struggle to establish myself I did feel tired, but tiredness and fatigue was not mended to pull me back or demoralize me, it was, in fact, a driving force to propel me even further in the pursuit of my histrionic goals, in fact, that fatigue was just a break in the journey to my professional excellence. I have reached a position now where I can be choosy and selective about my work and wait for projects which will add value and recognition to my performances.
Q Your looks are very unconventional in comparison to contemporaries? Does this hinder your performance or makes competition tough for you?
Don’t go by my looks I am aware of the fact that I don’t look like a typical Bolly hero, let’s talk about my histrionic prowess, I have practically acted in all the genres which I doubt too many people have done. You have seen me in comedy, as a villain, supporting actor, romantic hero and you also saw me dancing with a tiger. I am sure day is not far when you will see me in six packs, I am happy that Bollywood doesn’t have any limitations which were used to be a few years ago.
Q Theater or Bollywood, if given a choice what would you opt for?
I think for creative satisfaction theater is important and I would rate those above movies, but having said that I think that movies are more important to me in today’s context as they have given me the financial liberty and recognition. I am sad and unfortunate that theatre is in such morbid state today but movies do complement actors like us.
Q Your viewpoint on the current state of affairs like lynching under the garb of cow vigilante and criticism of army?
I don’t think I m right person to comment on these politically sensitive issues, I am an artist and I would like to confine myself to art, and I don’t think that what I say will make an impact for people.
Q – How much brand savvy you are and what brands fascinate you?
Tell us about your favorite skin care regime?
I really don’t dabble in brands because I am not very sure about various brands, I feel if I m comfortable in something that’s fashion for me, I am impulsive shopper if I go for shoot somewhere and find something to my taste I buy it and don’t check history of that product, when I wear something I just see it fits me well. And when designers send me clothes my criteria is to check the suitability and right fit.
Q How often you visit a spa and salon? How much do you support men’s beauty pampering?
Being an actor it is imperative that we look after our appearance, people do expect us to look good to enhance our appearance but I don’t believe in that. I realize intricacies in life and I got familiar with the same after entering Bollywood. I just go for the very minimalist and basic services, once or twice a month I go to the salon.
Q You have got the accolades for your fine acting skills whereas the young crop in Bollywood wants to taste the success very fast by showing off their six-packs and chiseled body, how much do you support the trend?
I always knew that I don’t have a hero like looks but from the time I came down from my village people used to say I neither had looks or personality to become Bollywood hero and I would come back. Recently a casting director also said that I can’t cast Nawaz with a handsome hero, however, he apologized for making that comment. These things only reflect the how obsession with fair complexion is reigning today, now things are not limited to that, six packs abs can’t take you far ultimately you have to prove your credentials with your acting, these attributes work for a couple of films but beyond that it is your histrionic prowess that works and not physical attributes.
Q Whom you consider your mentor or Guru?
If I had one I wouldn’t have taken 12 years to make my presence felt in Bollywood industry, I appreciate all the work that my senior actors have done for so many years and I look up to them, I have grown seeing their work. Wherever I have reached today is all because of my hard work and unwavering spirit.
Q Where do you see yourself five years down the line? Any plans on the cards to get into direction?
Ans – Well I don’t plan much for future rather its futile, I am impetuous by nature. Because nobody has the clairvoyance to foresee the future. Its always better to keep on working whatever good project comes your way, rest is destined, ( he giggles)
Q. How the family reacts to different characters you play in movies?
Ans. Disastrous reactions I receive from my family !! My 6-year-old daughter gave me advice to not to dance again in the future after seeing me in Munna Michael. And I was scared thinking about the feedback I would get from my wife after picturization of my steamy scenes in Bandookbaaz movie, but I felt so relieved that she understands these work situations and commitments.