Nawazuddin Siddiqui puts all on hold to prep for new role
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is gearing up to play one of the biggest roles of his career so far. The actor will portray the late politician and Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray in a biopic.
Nawazuddin says that the response he received for his look after the film’s teaser was released has been “phenomenal”. He adds, “I never even thought that I would be approached for the part, let alone being able to pull it off. But the makers were confident that I could play the role. The fact that they chose me was overwhelming.”
Incidentally, Amitabh Bachchan played a character believed to have been modelled on Bal Thackeray in the film Sarkar (2005). Nawazuddin has apparently taken three months off work to prepare for the role. The biggest challenge, he says, is preventing the portrayal from coming off as a caricature.
He says, “There are lots of videos of him on the Internet and people have known him, so I have to be sure that I’m not screwing it up. I don’t want it to be a mimicry of him either. I have to master the tone in which he spoke. I’ve also hired a tutor to teach me Marathi. I need to get the body language right. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m ready for it. I’ve cancelled everything for a couple of months, because I want to focus on this.”
Nawazuddin is known for picking unconventional roles, and the actor confesses that the box-office performance of his movies doesn’t bother him. “Given the kind of films I do, I don’t expect too much anyway. People usually don’t understand my kind of films, because they’re difficult. I make different choices, so I’m aware that my films may or may not work. But if you’ve chosen to be an actor, you should only be interested in your growth and evolution,” he says. “The process of working should interest you and that’s all that you should be worried about. The box-office outcome doesn’t bother me at all. I won’t be able to play a typical hero, because I will always play it my way and make it realistic.”