He started his Bollywood career with minute, blink-and-miss roles in films like Sarfarosh, Shool and Munna Bhai MBBS. It almost took him 12 years of struggle to prove his mettle and find a role worth note. That was Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur, the film that came and changed his fate. Since then, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been soaring with every role -- be it Badlapur, Raees, Raman Raghav 2.0, Thackeray, Manto or Sacred Games.
Today, Nawazuddin enjoys a fiercely loyal fan following, but he does not like to be categorised as a "star".
"I don't like to call myself a star. I do not believe in such tags. After being recognised as a star, superstar or megastar, the industry stereotypes artistes and make them do the same things," Nawazuddin told IANS, spreading his arms out in Shah Rukh Khan's signature style, in what seemed like a clear dig at typical hero roles.
"Real actors are those who do different types of roles, but when you get trapped in the 'star' category, you often end up facing stereotyping. All these things like 'star' and 'superstar' are just marketing strategies. That's why I don't like being called as a star," he added.
Nawazuddin also feels that the "star" tag curbs growth of an actor.
"I won't be stuck in a comfort zone. It is very important for an actor to do something beyond his or her comfort zone. I want to be versatile. If I start consider myself a star then I might become proud, and this can hamper my skills and growth as an artiste," he said.
After back-to-back intense roles in Manto, Thackeray and Sacred Games, the 45-year-old decided to shift gear and try rom-com. He recently featured in the comedy-drama Motichoor Chaknachoor. He will next be seen in Bole Chudiyan.