Award-winning actor Nawazuddin, who was turned down by many because of his looks, feels it will take another 100 years for Bollywood to change its mindset.
He is the most talented actor of our times but Nawazuddin Siddiqui is someone who does not rest on his past laurels. He loves to feed the soul of his onscreen characters and nudge the creative senses of the audience. Nawazuddin, who rose to fame with Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Lunchbox (2013), Manto (2018) and Ghoomketu (2018) to name a few is all set to play a rustic lover man in Motichoor Chaknachoor and Bole Chudiyan. The award-winning actor believes that talent and perseverance is key to success.
Your character Gaitonde in Sacred Games was appreciated by all but what went wrong with Sacred Games 2?
Even I feel Sacred Games 2 didn’t get the kind of love that Sacred Games got. Many people criticised the show maybe because it got a little preachy in the second season. I feel few things didn’t work but you need to accept it and move on.
You are known for your intense roles, what made you play the aging lover man in Motichoor Chaknachoor?
I am trying to find something in a new territory with love stories. I am doing it since I have done a lot of intense roles in the past. Once I start getting bored with something I like to shift.
What is your take on the typical Bollywood love stories and how different is your movie?
The characters and love stories that we see in Bollywood don’t exist in real life because it is all fiction. We run away from reality since we are conditioned that way. Love stories in Bollywood are usually between two good-looking people. People feel dark skinned people can’t fall in love so there is racism in everyone’s mind. We should not blame others because it is there within all of us. Even today, you will hear a mother tell her son to get married to a fair girl. We need to change this mindset and show more realistic love stories.
Today we see a lot of content-driven movies in Bollywood, is there a shift?
I feel that there is no major change in Bollywood. Earlier, our onscreen lovers would marry in Switzerland, now it is Bhopal. Eventually, the story is about weddings. Festival films get a lot of appreciation but their collections at the box office is negligible so what has changed? Other films are working because the formula is the same — songs, dance comedy, and wedding. It is a huge fraud in the name of content-driven movies. Look at Court, Fandry, Photography, they are all content-driven movies but didn’t work at BO.
So you think nothing will change?
Yes. I have accepted the fact that nothing will change in Bollywood, the reason why I’m doing love stories. They work at the box office. The mindset of people in the society is getting narrower. I am disappointed. It will take another 100 years to change cinema in Bollywood.
Were you told in the past that you were not suitable to essay the role of a lover boy?
Oh yes. People would say I could never play a lover boy on screen due to my personality and skin colour. I felt sad with their comments but if you have the talent then you will survive. And here I am, doing a love story today….
Do you sit and analyse your own work?
Yes. I sit and take out time to assess my own work. It is incorrect to get away with the success. You need to figure out where you career is going. I do diverse characters and I am grateful to the directors who put their trust on me. I am never happy with my work. I always feel I could do better. I don’t mean to glorify myself but some of my films like Manto, Photograph didn’t work. As an actor I will give my best irrespective of whether it works or not.
You are collaborating with your brother for Bole Chudiyaan, how difficult is it when someone from your family is directing you?
It gets easier because in Bole Chudiyaan there are few scenes that were inspired from my real life. I cannot divulge much at this stage but my brother Shamas was witness to those incidents. It feels great to work with him. He is my brother but we are thorough professionals on the sets.