Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has opened up about his struggling days, revealing how he was repeatedly told that he couldn’t be an actor and was asked to stop wasting his time. In a new interview, Nawazuddin recalled a television show refused to cast him as they would ‘have to put on extra lights’ and also ‘face losses’. He also said that after a decade, he managed to get ‘two scenes’ roles. (Also Read | Nawazuddin Siddiqui asks ‘cinema kahan hai’ after recent big budget hits: ‘Skills be damned’)
Nawazuddin made his Bollywood debut in 1999 with a brief role in Sarfarosh. He has featured in many films such as Black Friday, Kahaani, Patang, Gangs of Wasseypur, The Lunchbox, Raman Raghav 2.0, Badlapur, No Lands Men, Manto, Photograph among others. He has also starred in two Emmy-nominated series–Sacred Games (2019) and British McMafia.
In an interview with News18.com, Nawazuddin recalled the time when he had to face remarks based on his appearance, “Wherever I used to go, they used to tell me that I do not look like an actor and that’s why I should find some other work. ‘Actors are not like this, you are not an actor. Why are you wasting time’, I had to hear this, from office to office. But finally, it took me 9-10 years. There came directors who were making realistic movies. We emerged with them. Those films never used to work here, but they used to get appreciation at (film) festivals. That’s when commercial filmmakers thought of us as authentic and decided to cast us. They made films with us. That’s how I got acceptance.”
He also spoke about an incident when a television show team refused to cast him. “‘Aap log dikhte nhi ho (like actors)’, ‘You are unconventional’, what else can be harsh than this? When I used to ask for work in TV shows, they used to tell me ‘We cannot cast you because it will take more time. We’ll have to put on extra lights, whereas we have to send one episode every day. If we cast you, it will take 1.5 days, we’ll face losses. Better you find something else’. Then I decided to find work in movies. I was getting hardly a scene there or maybe a 40-seconds scene or one minute or two. For 5-6 years it went like this. Then I started getting two scenes. It went on like this for another five years,” he said.
Nawazuddin is currently awaiting the release of Heropanti 2. Directed by choreographer-filmmaker Ahmed Khan, Heropanti 2 is scheduled to be released on April 29.