Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s is one of the most impressive stories of resilience in Bollywood. He made his debut over a decade ago with a blink-and-you-miss-it role in Sarfarosh (1999). But it’s only in the last three years that he has gained recognition. Now, honoured with a Special Jury National Award — for Talaash, Kahaani and Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012) — he says, “It’s a great honour.” And with big roles coming his way, he promises not to be “greedy”.
‘Stardom is short-lived, good work isn’t’
Is there a sense of vindication in finally being recognised after years of struggle?
It’s a great feeling as my performances in all three films — Taalash, Kahaani and Gangs of Wasseypur (all 2012) — have been acknowledged together. It’s such a great honour to have received the Special Jury Award. Bollywood too seems to be finally acknowledging your talent, with several roles coming your way. In the last three years, I have been getting some good performance-oriented roles. Now, even some lead roles, like the one in Aatma, are coming my way. So time and hard work have started paying off.
Does this mean that you will now concentrate mostly on commercial films?
No, nothing of that sort. I’ll do whatever good roles are offered to me. This (success) won’t make me greedy; and I won’t narrow my choices only to big films. If I feel I should do a film, I’ll do it, irrespective of whether it’s big or small.
How does stardom affect you?
Stardom is a short-lived thing; no one can guarantee it for all your life. But good work is not. So I believe it’s better to work hard and do good work, which you will be remembered for.
So what’s keeping you busy these days?
As of now, we are travelling around for Aatma’s promotions. It’s an honest film; I’m hopeful about it. Next, I start shooting for (director) Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s film on March 23.
What is Buddhadeb’s film about?
The film is called Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa. It’s about a small-time private detective who is passionate about his work. He goes to such an extent with his passion that he starts investigating his own life, which leads to tragic consequences.