Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui started his career with small roles in many movies. This is all because of the hard work that he is now one of the prominent actors of Bollywood. Recently, his film Manto, which features in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, he was all praise for the film’s director Nandita Das’ “impeccable research”.
In an interview with IANS, Nawazuddin said “If I take names, the others will feel bad about it. As an actor, I only look at stories, script and most importantly my character in the film. There is also a selfishness that works and I think it’s quite normal that I look for characters that will challenge me and push me to the limits.”
Now the actor has decided that he will not do small roles in the movie. He said “No, I will not do it anymore (laughs). It’s as simple as that, why will I do them? I am done with my quota of small roles.”
Nawazuddin is also debuting into production, on this he said “There are some upcoming films that I am co-producing as well. My brother is very much into this doing the scouting for me. I definitely want to produce films as well.”
“For the time being, I am satisfied that all my directors in India are giving me characters that are pretty challenging and I am happy doing those. Just for the sake of a branding that I am an international star, I would not do that. How many films in the world are like Manto? Very few. So, I have no such predetermined affiliation for international projects. I am proud of Nandita and a film like this is no way less than any international film” he added.
Nawazuddin further said, “I think it’s completely a wrong conception. If I am doing (playing) Bal Thackeray and Manto at the same time, how can one say that I am typecast? The Bollywood heroes are typecast, they do the same thing all their life and they are never asked these questions. Now the films made in India are allowing actors like us to step in the shoes of lead characters and that makes us versatile. So, those who are still doing this (stretches his hand) are typecast, not me.”
He says period drama always touched a chord with the audience at Cannes. On this he said “I have seen people crying in the audience, there were people who came out with a very satisfied face. And the best part was I think the film has tried to hit the conscience of people very hard. There were many who came up to me and said that the film was very well timed.”
He praises his director Nandita for her attitude towards the script and the film. He said “See when Nandita told me that the film is just not the stories of Manto but his life as well, I was hooked to it. Manto’s life in itself is very interesting. This was perhaps four years back and we tried all these years to make the concept that she was building come true. I just understood that this character will let me achieve a lot and will take away a lot of things that I always wanted to give as an actor. Nandita’s research was impeccable and what I got in my hands was almost half baked. It was a pleasure working with her.”