Nawazuddin Siddiqui has surely attained the impossible. From playing extras in the movies to representing his films in international film festivals, the actor’s achievements are a testament to his rags-to-riches story.
Ritesh Batra, who cast Nawazuddin Siddiqui again in Photograph after The Lunch Box, narrates an interesting tale. “I wanted to cast Nawazuddin Siddiqui in The Lunch Box after I saw him in Peepli Live. We met at a café and he was so simple that I realised that I will need to foot the bill. But now when I go out with him, I feel that he has to pay. That’s the change I have seen in him over the years,” laughs Ritesh talking about how Nawaz has grown from an actor to a star.
Nawaz, who plays a photographer in Photograph, reminisces an incident from his struggling days when he was almost selected because of a photograph, only to be rejected when he came face to face with the selector. “In 2000, when I came to Mumbai to be an actor I used to go to this studio called Sandipan in Juhu where I would go to take pictures. The studio has a jacket that all of us (struggling) actors used to wear and get our photographs taken.
Once the photographer used a soft light and I was looking fairer in the picture. I gave the picture at Mahesh Bhatt’s office and I got a call for a music video. I could not believe it. It was the role of a photographer and a girl who falls in love with the man. I went to the office and the lady who came to direct the video came out of the office and was asking for ‘Nawaz’. I said, ‘Madam, I am Nawaz’. And she said, ‘Oh, you look so different in the photo.’ I wasn’t cast in the video and someone else got the job,” admits Nawaz....