Nawaz lite

Mujhe laga thoda romantic-romantic khela jaye (I felt let me play a romantic for some time),’ says Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the midst of a serious conversation on his intense roles. The actor is taking a break from his dark image this week with Freaky Ali, where he will be seen with Amy Jackson in the film about how the sidekick of an extortionist becomes a champion golfer. “I want to explore romance now,” says Nawaz with a straight face.

The actor, who is known for his realistic approach to acting, says he is not romantic at all in real life. “I am a dry person. When I was in the National School of Drama, most of my batch mates had girl friends. I was alone, and I never felt that it was necessary in life. Toh main aese khali haath hi Mumbai chala gaya. There I tried once or twice but when I didn’t get response from the other side, I gave up. At that time I was getting rejection from all sides. I believe when you don’t have work, everybody rejects you. And when you become somebody, everybody wants to talk to you,” says Nawaz with a wry smile.

He says he gets affected by his characters, both physically and psychologically. “That’s why a method actor cannot have too many roles in his pocket at one time. And it is a two-way process. When you imbibe something from the character, the character also takes away something from your life. But that’s the fun of being in this profession.”

With a spark in his eyes, he says his dream role is that of Salim in Mughal-e-Azam, but right now he is preparing to play Saadat Hasan Manto in a film on the legendary poet being made by Nandita Das.

Coming from a small village in Western Uttar Pradesh, one is tempted to ask him who were his role models, when he was growing up. “I like perfectionists. He could be a mechanic in a garage or a cobbler. There was teacher of mine who never got late even by five minutes. For ten years I followed him. When I got a sense of art and aesthetics, Vincent Van Gogh became one of my inspirations.”

Perhaps, this is why he gels with Anurag Kashyap. “He doesn’t make films keeping in mind some trend or what people want to see. He makes what he likes to see. Such filmmakers are remembered.”

Keywords: Freaky Ali, Nawazuddin Siddiqui