He is currently the talk of B-Town, with powerful back-to-back performances. A few weeks back, Naseeruddin Shah said that Nawazuddin Siddiqui (left) “is one of the finest actors I have ever seen, and I envy him. I wish I was this good at his age”. The veteran actor added that Nawaz “is the only actor who has done justice to both commercial and art films”.
Talking about Shah, Nawaz says, “Being tagged as a particular kind of artiste is not the actor’s fault. Although actors like Naseer saab were tagged as ‘art film’ actors, they did good films. I grew up watching and learning from such movies. I’ve learnt so many things from Naseer saab. I remember that Mayapuri (a magazine) had carried his interview when I was in Class 12. When I read it, I got curious to know more about him. I felt inspired by him.”
The Talaash (2012) star says that when he started watching Shah’s movies at first, he found them “a little difficult” to watch. “Then, I started realising that he (Shah) is doing different kinds of films, and yet everyone praises him. How does he do it? I was attracted to that world,” says Nawaz.
Back in his village (Budhana, Uttar Pradesh), when Doordarshan used to telecast an “art film”, no one would watch it. “They would say, ‘Aur koi nahi, sirf Nawaz dekhega yeh film (Only Nawaz will watch such kinds of movies).’ Otherwise, 50-70 people would assemble at my home every Sunday to watch a commercial film,” he says.
But, the actor is glad that “audiences watch all kinds of films today”. He says, “I don’t know how commercially viable they (non-masala films) were earlier. But now, such movies are being tweaked with songs and are packaged in an interesting manner to make them entertaining.”