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‘Dark and handsome’ and in demand!

Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels his dialogues about dark complexion in his recent release, ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’, will boost the confidence of dark-skinned people like him.

lucknow Updated: Aug 21, 2017 16:23 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Dark and handsome,Babumoshai Bandookbaz,Uttar Pradesh
Nawaz interacting with Raja Khera villagers (Lucknow outskirts).

National award winning actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels his dialogues about dark complexion in his recent release, ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’, will boost the confidence of dark-skinned people like him.

“In this film, there’s a dialogue ‘Kala rang kafi demand main aajkal’. Another one goes like this - ‘Mana tu tall nahi hai, par dark and handsome toh hai...’. It gives a good message, and I feel it will give confidence to dark-skinned people. ‘Why should anyone feel inferior about their skin colour?’ Nawazuddin told HT City during his visit to Lucknow.

A month ago, the actor’s tweet about pairing up with fair actresses triggered a debate on colour bias.

The actor had tweeted: “Thank U 4 making me realise dat I cannot b paired along wid d fair & handsome bcz I m dark & not good looking, but I never focus on that”(sic).

“In the film industry, people with my complexion are called unconventional, which is very wrong! How can that be when the fact is that only a handful of people are fair? Probably 90% Indians are different shades of brown. It’s something that’s God given, and we should feel proud instead of taking it as a shortcoming,” he said.

The actor is also against celebrities promoting fairness creams, as he feels it leads to inferiority complex in dark-skinned people. “I feel it is very wrong, as it hurts the dignity and confidence level of such people,” said Nawaz.

Steamy scenes

For the time in his career, the actor is being seen in steamy scenes with actress Bidita Bag in Babumoshai Bandookbaz. “It was a challenge, as it might have looked vulgar if it went wrong. Any shoot, be it steamy or anything else, is after all a work of art. Here, it was the demand of the script as this character is very ‘besharam’ (shameless),” he said.

“Thanks to Bidita…she was so confident…it was shot very aesthetically. I was initially a bit apprehensive. Also, the shoot conditions were very tough. We were sweating it out due to the intensely hot weather,” he added.

Talking about the same scene, Bidita, who accompanied the actor, said, “I came in the film as an overnight replacement (after Chitrangida Singh walked out). On the very second day of the shoot, we filmed this scene. One thing that made me comfortable was that he (Nawaz) will not do anything that hurts his reputation. Thankfully, it came out well.”

Nawaz and Bidita Bag in Lucknow. (Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

Lucknow connect

The film has been shot on the outskirts of the state capital. The bike that Nawazuddin is seen riding carries a UP number plate (UP-41 Barabanki).

“We shot extensively on the city outskirts, and the response and support I got is tremendous. The only problem we faced was the extreme weather,” Nawaz told HT.

As a student of the Bhartendu Natya Academy, the actor has spent several years in Lucknow. “The swanky Gomti Nagar that we see today was largely a semi-urban belt when I was living in Lucknow. During my stay here, BNA was shifted from Aliganj to Gomti Nagar. I was part of the shifting team, and used to commute on a bicycle. Yahan ke chappe-chappe se wakif hain (I know everything about the city). This is like a second home for me,” he said.

Bidita has shot another film in Uttar Pradesh. “My next, ‘T for Taj Mahal’, has been shot in Agra. Both cities (Lucknow and Agra) are just 300 kms away, but there’s a lot of difference in their culture and lifestyle. I have very good memories of my shoot in Lucknow,” she said.

Censor trouble

The censor board ordered 48 cuts in Babumoshai Bandookbaz, which was later reduced to six voluntary cuts. “The board is about certification. When the film has been given an adult certificate, what’s the need for any cut? I hope the new change (Prasoon Joshi) will set things right,” said producer Ashmit Kunder.

Nawaz visits Raja Khera

Babumoshai Bandookbaz was mainly shot at Raja Khera village in Khurdai locality on Sultanpur Road. The actor with his team visited the village on Sunday afternoon and met the locals. In an impromptu move, he walked inside a farm and sat on the ground to talk to villagers. “Nawaz interacted with the villagers and asked them about their problems. He also expressed the desire to help them in their farming-related problems,” said a source. Earlier, the actor with Bidita, Shraddha Das and producer Ashmit Kunder visited a city mall, where he interacted with visitors, who had waited for a long time to meet the star.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 16:23 IST