In an industry obsessed with glamour and glitz, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has slowly and steadily created a niche for himself. From playing two minute roles in his initial years in the film industry, to now lead characters in films, Siddiqui, with his talent, has compelled filmmakers to have an uncanny hero in their films.
A science graduate, Nawazuddin Siddiqui quit his regular job as a chemist and came to Delhi in the 1990s to learn acting at the prestigious National School Of Drama. Post his stint in Delhi, the talented actor went to Mumbai to be a part of Bollywood. Like many other aspiring actors, Siddiqui had his share of rejections while hanging around film studios in search of a break. His first two minute role came in Aamir Khan starrer ‘Sarfarosh’ in 1999 where he played a criminal being interrogated by the police. Siddiqui also did a two minute role in Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ and Manoram Six Feet Under. While several bit roles came his way, Siddiqui’s real break came in a film called ‘Patang’ which had him playing a lead role. The film went to the Berlin Film Festival and Siddiquie’s performance was noted by international critic.
On his birthday, here are five roles that made Nawazuddin Siddiqui the formidable actor that he is now and made the world get up and notice this powerhouse of talent.
Black Friday- Siddiqui’s first outing with Anurag Kashyap was in 2004 in the critically acclaimed film ‘Black Friday’. Siddiqui played Asgar Mukadam, a key aide of underworld don Tiger Memom who was instrumental in the Bombay blast of 1993. While Siddiqui’s appearance in the film was a tiny one, it managed to create an impact. The interrogation scene where Kay Kay Menon tries to take information from Siddiqui is well etched in viewer’s mind.
Kahaani- While Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani’ is remembered mostly for Vidya Balan’s performance and gripping storyline, people also rave about Siddiqui’s sharp performance as the investigating IB officer who is rude and uptight. Siddiqui’s physicality made him for a very uncanny police officer wielding power and authority on officer double his size but the actor gave such a convincing performance that one couldn’t help but loathe. Remember the scene where he very rudely starts smoking in front of the very pregnant Vidya Balan inspite of her telling her not to? That scene may have been simple, but the Siddiqui’s nonchalance made it a memorable one.
Gangs Of Wasseypur- The first part of Anurag Kashyap’s epic revenge saga had Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a confused lost dope head who was absolutely disinterred in his family’s ‘business’. The second film had him take the centrestage and gave India its first lanky, lungi clad, chappal wearing lead hero who limped around in his terrace escaping the bullets of the villian’s henchmen. There are two many scenes in the Kashyap’s two films which highlighted the true potential of Nawazuddin Siddiqui the actor.
Miss Lovely: Nawazuddin Siddqui played Sonu, a self destructive youth in Ashim Ahluwalia’s critically acclaimed film. The film narrated the murky lives of those who produced C-grade films in India in the 1990s. The film also took Siddiqui along with the cast of the film to Cannes Film Festival where the film was showcased in the Uncertain Regards category.
Bombay Talkies: Perhaps one of the most hatke role of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s career was in Dibakar Banerji’s short film in ‘Bombay Talkies’. The actor played a out-of-job doting family man who gets a two minute role to play in a Bollywood film. Siddiqui’s performance was earnest and straight from the heart and the last scene of the story brought a lump on the viewer’s throat because of Siddiqui’s performance.