Nawazuddin Siddiqui is back with a vengeance. He has his film production and his first English film No Land’s Man, in which he also stars as an actor being nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award at the Busan Film Festival.
“Three years ago the director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki and I were chatting in Kolkata and he came up with an idea about identity, which I said he should develop and we came up with this film,” Nawaz said. “He wrote the film a year later, and multiple drafts followed.”
The actor goes on to tell us that No Land’s Man is a very beautiful satirical storytelling film. “It is great to see the fruition of the effort in the form of a beautiful piece on celluloid. His passion and effort to make a small thought into a brilliant script. He is not an art filmmaker — but he has made a fast and engaging film,” Nawaz adds.
The film has A.R. Rahman not only as the music composer but also as a producer along with Nawaz. And we can’t help but point out that Rahman and Nawaz sound like a unique combination. “I could have gone to him to be a composer for any of my films that I was doing or making,” Nawaz points.
“But then, he came on board as composer after Mostofa Farooki and I showed him the film, and he was more than happy to participate in the film. I never thought Rahman sir and I would be producing a film together.”
Lessons for life
Despite the action on sets, the actor has chosen to have a quiet time dealing with family issues, sorting problems within the family, tilling his plot of land in his native village Budhana, and setting goals during the pandemic. He says realisation dawned upon him when he was sitting at Ipswich two hours from Central London.
“I was looking at the beauty of nature there and felt that I was actually at home because my village (Budhana) looks like that. Farmers were at work there and though I feel proud about my work, it is important to be closer to home and to your roots because it gives you a lot of peace,” says the Gangs of Wasseypur actor. “I am saying this not about my career but on a personal note. People may have lost a lot of things in the pandemic, but they have realised it and they too have chosen to live a good life.”
Speaking about how people run madly behind their careers at times, Nawaz admits that there have been people like that before and will be there in the future as well. “This will go on. But it is important to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest,” he adds.
So it is not surprising that the actor has now been applying the very logic to his work as well. “I want to work less now. I will start doing less work after a year. Our work will go on but I will want to live life. I came to become a servant of my desire and went ahead and did what I had to,” he adds.
Indeed, the actor has been seeing some upheavals in his family life too, with his wife Aaliya not being happy, but things seem to have settled for good now. Nawaz doesn’t want to talk about the issues with his wife. “It is important not only for my family but also for the entire world that we live happily — not plan anything for the future, but live for the day,” he philosophises.
No more of OTT
Recently, someone came up with a choice of the best actor among Manoj Bajpayee, Nawaz and Pankaj Tripathi, which had Manoj commenting that he was thrilled to be in a list that actually had the two best actors. “It is his greatness. He is my senior and I’ve been inspired by him during my theatre days,” insists Nawaz modestly.
“He is hard working and has given a series of great performances in films. I may not respect him at times (chuckles at the certain friendly banter that they often indulge in), but I am also inspired by him as a person. We have a great bonding.”
Amidst the admiration talks, the Monsoon Shootout actor reveals that he doesn’t want to return to the OTT despite the spectacular showing in the two seasons of Sacred Games. “I will not do any OTT shows. I’ve done it and that’s all. I’ve no interest and will,” he says. If you look at what kind of web series are being made, they’re all so clichéd. When something (like Sacred Games) happens, others follow suit trying to emulate it and make a mess of it. I don’t want to be a part of this race. I just want to do good films and good work.
His upcoming films are Sangeen, Jogira Sara Ra Ra and Bole Choodiyan....