Hyderabadis Are Nice, I Want to Settle Down Here: Nawazuddin Siddiqui
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Reshmi AR
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a name to reckon with in the Indian film industry. He was in Hyderabad to promote his upcoming film—Jogira Sara Ra Ra, which stars Neha Sharma as the female lead. The film, directed by Kushan Nandy, will hit theatres on May 26 and stars Sanjay Mishra, Zarina Wahab, Nikki Tamboli among others. In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, Nawazuddin talks about his film journey and his love for Hyderabad.
We have seen you in a lot of serious roles, are you making a conscious effort to break the image?
Well, I have worked in comedy roles earlier like Freaky Ali, Motichoor Chaknachoor and others. But yes after playing intense roles in movies like Gangs of Wasseypur and Badlapur, there was a desire to make a conscious effort to break that image. But I also liked the script of Jogira sara Ra Ra and gave it a go ahead.
Tell us about your role in Jogira sara Ra Ra
Of late, we have seen a lot of action movies with violence. Jogira sara Ra Ra will be an out and out entertainer with comedy and a little bit of romance too. We want to bring back people to theatres with this film. There is magic and a depth on the big screen which we want people to experience and appreciate. This movie will be a fun outing with family.
Tell us about your NSD Days
When I joined NSD, I had already worked in a few plays in Vadodara. However, you learn from the scratch at the NSD. The school taught me the nuances of acting in- depth. What one calls method acting. There were teachers from Russia too. I can say that whatever I am today, my performance, my acting is all thanks to my training in the National School of Drama.
Aspiring actors went to train at schools. But now you see a lot of actors test water without any formal training. Is there a difference between those who are trained and amateurs?
The difference can be seen. If there is a movie requiring performance from the actor, the struggle of the artist is evident.In our industry, we have a formula in which the hero is dominating and he gets what he wants without any effort. It is scripted that the hero will get the heroine no matter what. But in real life, you have to put in some effort to get what you want. At least in my case, it was required. Unless you are a business magnate or possess extraordinary talent, it just doesn't happen.
Web series or movies—which medium do you prefer and why?
Frankly speaking, I am an actor. It's not that I will give my best just because a web series is lucrative, or fail to perform because there is no money in theatre. Be it a TV serial, web series or a movie, I always believe in sincere efforts.
Do you watch web series?
No. I don't watch. But if there is a lot of talk around a series like say, Panchayat or Scam. Then yes, I watched them.
What about movies? Do you watch them in theatres?
I do watch good movies in the theatre. Recently, I was in Dubai and we went to watch a children's movie in the theatre. I also watched an Asghar Farhadi movie recently.
Tell us about your Tollywood debut Saindhav with Venkatesh?
I am really excited. It's a fantastic script. Preparations are in full swing. The director is amazing and so is Venky sir. I even intend to visit Charminar to pick up the local dialect. It's going to be an action movie.
Have you watched Telugu movies?
Yes. I have watched a few movies of Venky sir and also all the recent blockbusters.
What do you love about Hyderabad?
The best thing about the city is its people. I love Hyderabadi food. They are nice and I also love the open spaces. I am contemplating on shifting here and shuttle between cities for a shoot since it's not very far. Hyderabad is so popular that I used to hear about the city even in villages. So I feel some connection with this place.
Social media gives fans direct access to stars and vice-versa. However, the platforms expose a lot about stars to the public. Do you think the element of curiosity around the stars ceases to exist now?
Social media has ended all the mystery surrounding the stars.Now people know all that a star does—where he goes, what he eats, who he talks to and where he sleeps. Everything is for public consumption. I feel we must maintain some exclusivity. Actos were called stars for a reason. They shine only at night, in the sky. But that doesn't exist anymore.