Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says he will do every sort of film but no nonsensical stuff
National Award-winning actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says that ‘choice’ is a relative term in cinema. “I am not sure if I know what to choose. But after so many years here, I certainly know what not to!” says Nawaz during a chat while promoting his just released Shorts, a compilation of five short films produced by Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga.
Nawaz features in the short film titled Mehfuz playing the role of an undertaker living in a city taken over by violence. The film is directed by Rohit Pandey. “He is a very lonely character. He talks to dead bodies, his only audience. He yearns to have normal conversations with regular people but he can’t. The twist in the tale comes when he meets a woman whom he can finally speak to,” says Nawaz.
Talking about working with new directors such as Rohit, the actor says, “New directors bring in fresh thought into the system. Rohit is a great example. They are not yet corrupt with formulaic ideas and, hopefully, will never be.” Asked about his special bond with Anurag Kashyap, with whom he was worked on several films including Black Friday and Gangs Of Wasseypur, Nawaz laughs and says, “It’s difficult for many to believe but the two of us may not even speak for the entire year and then sit together for a smoke for hours. Without speaking a word, mind you. Yet it’s as if he knows me inside out and even I do.”
Nawaz hopes that the trend of ensemble films which was showcased earlier this year by Bombay Talkies and now with Shorts, will bring alive the genre in India. “If the trend does work, it will be great for a whole lot of new directors, who have a unique perspective. They will not have to borrow a formula to get a platform to exhibit their talent. The idea behind such films is not to make money but to make available such cinema to an audience that’s looking for it,” he says.
The actor, who featured with Bipasha Basu in the horror film Aatma earlier this year, says that being typecast is a huge problem. “The film did well for its budget but people were more than eager to write me off in the commercial space. My philosophy is simple. I will do every sort of film but no nonsensical stuff.”
Nawaz’s upcoming films are Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, Ketan Mehta’s Mountain Man and Shlok Sharma’s Haramkhor.