At the time Miss Lovely walked into Nawazuddin Siddiqui's life, he was frustrated and tired with how the industry was treating him. At that point of time, Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani and, most importantly, Gangs of Wasseypur were yet to happen (year 2009). So did he jump with joy when director Ashim Ahluwalia offered him the script of Miss Lovely? Hardly.
"I found the script very complex. There was too much detailing in the script and my character. I thought it was a difficult film and did not know how to go about it," says the actor.
Nawazuddin was right. He had to unlearn everything they taught him at the National School of Drama, as the film required him to 'not act'. "You will find my performance very raw in the film. In fact, I had to start all over again as an actor. The unlearning process is much more difficult."
"The film has an experimental narrative. The camera work is also very different," says Nawaz about the film.
Some of the critics who have watched the film at Cannes Film Festival find his acting a notch below his recent performances and the actor says he doesn't mind that at all.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from the film Miss Lovely
"I'm not here to give only good performances. Kharab acting bhi karke dekhna chahta hoon. (I don't mind delivering a poor performance if need be). It's a compliment that people are saying this about me; at least they are saying something."
If not for appreciation, what is it that motivates Nawaz to act, apart from money? "I want to re-discover myself in every character I portray. Or maybe, I want to live many lives in one life. Life does not always provide an opportunity to speak the truth, but camera does. We get tired speaking lies in real life, but in front of camera you speak the truth, just the truth."
That's a deep thought indeed.
Is there a writer wanting to come out? "No," says the actor, adding, "Can't really put myself to write, though I have lots of ideas." That reminds us, the actor's turning producer with his brother's directorial venture Miyan Kal Aana. "Yes, the film is based on my idea."
The actor would next be seen in Mountain Man and Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa.
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Vipin Kumar/HT photo