Ac­tor Nawazud­din Sid­diqui says that he’s en­joy­ing the at­ten­tion and the fan-fol­low­ing, but won’t let that get to him

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Diby­o­jy­oti Baksi ■ diby­o­jy­oti. baksi@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

O ne of Bol­ly­wood’s most crit­i­cally­ac­claimed ac­tors, Nawazud­din Sid­diqui re­cently worked with one of the in­dus­try’s most bank­able stars, Sal­man Khan, for the sec­ond time in a span of a year. Soon, Nawaz will also be seen in a movie with Shah Rukh Khan. But the 41-year-old ac­tor says he is yet to come to terms with his pop­u­lar­ity. He talks about his choice of films, why he won’t do films that “only five peo­ple will see”, and more.

You have done a few com­mer­cial Bol­ly­wood films. Are you keen on do­ing more in the fu­ture?

When I was do­ing films like Miss Lovely (2012), Gangs Of Wassey­pur (2012) and The Lunch­box (2013), peo­ple used to say that I do only those kind of films. Now, when I am do­ing a few com­mer­cial movies, peo­ple say that I am do­ing only com­mer­cial films. The bot­tom­line is that I want to be part of projects that are in­ter­est­ing, whether they are com­mer­cial or art house. I won’t do a film only be­cause it is art house, and one that only five peo­ple will see.

How would you want your­self to be re­mem­bered — as a crit­i­cally ac­claimed ac­tor or as a star?

I don’t pay much heed to these opin­ions peo­ple have about me. I like it when peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate my work, but I never let my­self get car­ried away, think­ing, ‘Oh, I am a great ac­tor’.

Do you think com­mer­cial suc­cess is the ul­ti­mate yard­stick of a suc­cess­ful ac­tor?

Hon­estly, I don’t know whether I am suc­cess­ful or not. I think, even now, I work with the same in­stinct and in­ten­tion to do good work. I love to act. I find the process of act­ing in­ter­est­ing, and noth­ing in­ter­ests me apart from that. I’ve got to know that I now have a huge fan fol­low­ing, and it is good, but that doesn’t ex­cite me.

Af­ter Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan with Sal­man, your film with di­rec­tor Ketan Me­hta is set to re­lease. Is it stress­ful to have two of your films re­leas­ing so close to each other?

There was noth­ing to stress about in Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan. When Sal­man is in a film, oth­ers don’t need to stress. But as I am play­ing the lead role in Ketan’s film, I have mixed feel­ings. I’m con­fi­dent, but, also a bit ner­vous.

You are a saleable face now. Do you think it was a strate­gic de­ci­sion by Me­hta to re­lease the film now?

There is al­ways a cor­rect time to re­lease a film. But the promo of this movie is so in­ter­est­ing that even if the film re­leases in the in­te­ri­ors of the coun­try, where peo­ple don’t know any­thing about me, they will still love it.

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