Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Industry apne aap pehchaan jaati hai ki aap ki worth kitni hai




Nawazuddin Siddiqui is shooting in Delhi for a romantic role in a Sohail Khan film, even as his Anurag Kashyap film gears up for a Cannes premiere. Delhi Times speaks to him about the various worlds he inhabits as an actor


For many actors, having a Cannes premiere for a movie would be an unexpected high; for Nawazuddin Siddiqui, however, it would simply be deja vu. The actor, who by now has a very large volume of Cannes-presence projects, goes into flashback mode with DT on what's changed since the Cannes premiere of 'Gangs Of Wasseypur' and 'Miss Lovely' in 2012, as his next film also prepares for a Cannes premiere.


We had a chat at Cannes in 2012 after the premiere of Gangs Of Wasseypur won a standing ovation. And we were talking about stars vs actors and you made an interesting point about money, telling us - and I quote - "Main zikr kar raha tha ek actress se ki main iss industry ka highest paid actor hona chahta hoon, aur usne bola tu zindagi bhar nahi ho sakta, tu kuch bhi kar le, duniya bhar mein famous ho ja, teri aukat yeh hai ki tujhe maximum `50 lakh hi denge, usse zyada kabhi nahi denge." Has that changed in these four years, as yet another of your films heads for a Cannes premiere?

Main dusre actors ki baat toh nahi kar sakta, ki unhe kitna remuneration milta hai, but from my experience I can say that I have accomplished what I had said four years ago. I charge like any other star, not less. Industry mein ek achhi baat yeh hai ki aapko mangne ki zaroorat nahin padti. Woh bahut smart hote hain iss mamle mein ki iska worth kitna hai, isko log dekhne aate hain ki nahin, woh bahut aaram se pata laga lete hain iss cheez ka aur woh worth ke hisaab se hi paisa dete hain. Main kahoon ki mujhe `20 crore chahiye, toh mujhe `20 crore nahin denge, meri worth unko maloom hai kya hai, utna hi denge. Aur uss worth ke hisaab se woh jo maine chaar saal pehle kiya tha, woh pura toh kar liya.


Any change in lifestyle?

Nahi, koi fark nahi aaya hai. Same wohi hai...


Don't you feel like you're in the big league now?

I'm just happy that people are appreciating my work, jo ek maine mehnat ki thi, woh right track mein mehnat ki thi, trance mein nahin ki thi, toh woh kaam aayi. Iss waqt mujhe aur zyada mehnat karte rehna chahiye kyunki logon ki expectation badh gayi hai. Main chahta hoon ki main aisa hi rahoon. For me, the most interesting point is when the film is being shot. Usmein mujhe sabse zyada maza aata hai. Uske baad aap kya feel karte ho kya nahin, ye zyada maayne nahin rakhta.


Audience ke saath ja kar hall mein film dekhna, unki taaliyaan sunna, iss kism ka mindset nahin hai?

Director agar yeh bol deta hai ki yeh shot badhiya hua, mere liye usse badi koi baat nahin. Phir uske baad koi aaye dekhne ke liye ya nahin aaye, main usmein zyada mathapachee nahin lagata.


'Gangs Of Wasseypur' did decent business, but 'Miss Lovely', which was critically acclaimed and another one of your Cannes premieres, was quite a flop. I recall going to a hall in Noida to watch it, and there were about eight seats occupied in the hall.

Woh bilkul nahin chali thi, uski do wajah thi - ek toh film ka promotion nahi hua tha bilkul bhi. Doosra yeh ki uss tarah ki audience iss waqt pe ja kar bani hai.


What type of audience?

Miss Lovely aaj se chaar saal pehle aayi thi, 2013 mein release hui thi, thodi dark film thi, thodi kya... nihayat hi dark film thi, bahut hatke film thi. The audience was not used to that kind of film. They are getting used to it now, kyunki ab reshuffling ho raha hai cinema ka. Commercial stars are also doing such films. So the audience has increased.


What kind of reshuffling?

Jaise ab commercial cinema ke stars bhi realistic filmein karna chah rahe hain. Realistic films ke joh actor hain, unka subject hai, content hai, woh commercial tareeqe se kar rahe hain - peg strong hai, lekin treatment bahut commercial hai. Toh iss tareeqe se films mein actors ki reshuffling ho rahi hai, which is good.


You experimented with various forms of cinema. Anurag also did, most noticeably, casting a star - Ranbir - in 'Bombay Velvet'. Do you feel it is safer to stick to what an actor or director does best?

Mujhe lagta hai experiment karne chahiye. Ek experiment fail ho gaya, par agar woh next karega aur woh successful ho jayega, toh bolne lagenge ki Anurag toh kuch bhi kar sakta hai.


The industry wasn't very kind to Anurag after 'Bombay Velvet'.

Kaun sa director hai jiski film flop nahi hoti, usko (Anurag) zyada hi kheenchte hain. Flop aur hit toh har director, har actor ke saath, juda rehta hai. Jaise aap actor ke baare mein baat kar rahe hain ki main maar-dhaad karta hoon, main har tarah ka role karta hoon. Iss film (Ali) mein main romantic role kar raha hoon.


What is the comfort level after working with one director for long?

I think that if you don't have a comfort level then you can't do good work, because cinema is a director's medium. Agar director ke saath tuning nahin hai toh chahe jitni bhi achhi script hai, woh barbaad hi honi hai. And if the script is average but director ke saath tuning hai, then it can be taken to another level.


Where do you see yourself in all this reshuffling?

I can do 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' with Salman and 'Raees' with Shah Rukh. And at the same time, I can do films with Kushan (Nandy) and Anurag Kashyap also. Toh maine koi ek fix genre nahin kiya hai. Right now I'm doing a romantic film with Sohail Khan (Ali). It is a commercial film. Actor hoon isliye saari cheez ek challenge lagti hai.


What role suits your personality?

Mere se poochhein toh meri personality ko Dilip saheb ka shehzaade Salim ka role suit karta hai!


Aapke apne hisaab se sabse close role kaun sa raha hai?

Bombay Talkies ka jo failed actor ka role tha. Kaafi saalon tak main bhi failure raha hoon, toh maine usse kaafi connect kiya tha.


Kaafi saal matlab kitne?

Kareeb 12-15 saal toh ho hi gaye the.






Today, you're a well-known name internationally, courtesy your high volume of Cannes-premiering movies.

Mujhe toh yeh bhi pata nahin ki main yahan establish ho gaya hoon. Abhi bhi aisa lagta hai ki joh log mujhe dekh rahe hain, woh mujhe dekh rahe hain ya kisi aur ko. Toh palat kar dekh leta hoon ki kahin mere peeche joh khada hai usko toh nahin dekh rahe na. Photo khinchana, autograph dena, yeh toh sabka hai.


Social media pe aap kitne active hain?

Main social media pe zyada active nahin hoon, friendly nahin hua hoon. Shayad kabhi familiar na ho paun. Mera bhai hai, wohi karta hai yeh sab. Main phone bhi subah ya sham ko dekhta hoon during shooting. Mujhe lagta hai kahin na kahin focus shift ho jata hai. Jab main kaam kar raha hoon toh mera focus 100% wahin hona chahiye.


Acting ke tareeqe mein kya badla hai chaar saalon mein?

Main abhi bhi ussi tareeqe se kaam karta hoon, kyunki mujhe itna toh maloom hai ki jis craft ki wajah se logon ne mujhe notice kiya tha, woh toh maine nahin badla. Of course, experience hota rehta hai aapko, uske hisaab se cheezon mein badlav aata rehta hai. Par joh passion, joh hard work, joh 15-20 saal pehle tha woh aaj bhi waisa hi hai. Usmein koi badlav nahin aaya hai. Aap grow karte hain, experience hota hai, aapke kaam mein woh value add hota rehta hai.

Mujhe lagta hai ki actor ko badalte rehna chahiye.


How? With just experience?

Experience is a very big thing. Agar aap apna dimaag, aankh, kaan khol kar rakhte hain toh aapke aas-paas bahut saari cheezein ghat rahi hoti hain jisse aap experience le sakte hain. Observe kar sakte hain characters ko. Then it becomes easy. Aapka ek kaam hai, aas paas ki cheezon ke baare mein aware rehna. Main wahi karta hoon toh log mujhe kehte hain ki 'yaar, tumne uss film mein jo kiya tha, aise bande hote hain, humne dekha hai'. Aas paas ke logon ko dekhna, phir unko enact karna. Yeh toh hai nahin ki establish ho gaye aap, aur sheeshe mein band kar liya apne aapko. Jiss area mein rehte hain aapko keval ussi area ke baare mein maloom hai. Main ghoomta rehta hoon jab bhi mauka milta hai, un logon mein rehta hoon jo real hain.


Do you learn more from a successful movie or a flop?

Of course, mistakes teach you more. Par yeh nahin hai ki kamyabi nahin sikhati. Kamyabi sikhati hai ki ab aapko usko kaise sustain karna hai, maintain karna hai. Aap kisi cheez mein fail hote hain jab aap shayad kuch achha karne ja rahe thay aur woh work nahin kiya. So both are good.


Aaj se 5-10 saal baad agar aapko option mile ki Karan Johar kism ki picture, zyada paisa kamane wali, ya Cannes kism ki picture karne ka mauka mile aur aapko ek choose karna ho?


I haven't made a category that I will only do niche films or films for Cannes. This film, Raman Raghav 2.0 (the Anurag Kashyap film that's premiering at Cannes), was not made for Cannes. We just wanted to make a good film and we completed it in only 20 days. Later we got to know that the film was being appreciated. While making the film, if you have this "corruption" in mind that I will send this film to Cannes and Oscars, then you can't make the film. Film simplicity se banti hai. Ek process hota hai. Dheere-dheere cheezein milti chali jaati hain, develop karte jaate hain. Aapko maza aa raha hai, aapke actors ko bhi maza aa raha hai, toh ek achhi film ban jaati hai. Rahi baat commercial films ki, kyunki woh kisi bade production house ki film hai, bade producer ki film hai aur main sirf isliye karoon kyunki woh bada aadmi hai, toh nahin, bilkul nahin. Maine bahut badi-badi filmein, bahut bade-bade logon ki, chhod di.



Why?


Because I didn't think it had any worth. The script and the director are more important. So I will do a small film with a good script. From that film I might get something that I won't get from the big films. A lot depends on the script.



Any question that you want the media to ask you, but it doesn't?


Media ke sawaal ek se hote hain. Phir humne dimaag apna aisa bana liya hai ki achha, iss tarah ke sawaal kiye jaate hain, toh jawab pehle se prepare ho gaye. Initially, I used to hope that the media would ask about the acting, but the questions are very superficial. Itne lambe time mein maine yeh dekha hai ki bahut kam aise hote hain (journalists) jo track se hat kar sawaal karte hain.
Source - Times of india

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