‘I DON’T LET MYSELF GET CARRIED AWAY’
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says that he’s enjoying the attention and the fan-following, but won’t let that get to him
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.