The big story

Al­though not blessed with stereo­typ­i­cal good looks, by sheer hard­work Nawazud­din Sid­diqui has­madeit to the top rungs of Bol­ly­wood. Nowthe award-win­ning star dreams of spend­ing his free time farm­ing in his small vil­lage

Friday - - Contents -

Meet Nawazud­din Sid­diqui, Bol­ly­wood’s re­luc­tant hero.

Swag­ger. Sub­tlety and style. Nawazud­din Sid­diqui, Bol­ly­wood’s new­est poster boy, has them all – which is lucky as he doesn’t have tra­di­tional big-screen good looks.

The man has a slight build, leath­ery skin and a re­ced­ing hair­line. But sur­pris­ingly none of this can take away from his swag­ger. Is it a re­sult of the uber-cool clothes he wears with such ir­rev­er­ence? Or the bass voice that is a prod­uct of years of smok­ing and the­atre, the medium that taught him voice mod­u­la­tion?

Or the smoul­der­ing look in his grey­ish black eyes? Ask most women – and film di­rec­tors – and they’ll tell you it’s the al­lur­ing com­bi­na­tion that makes this 40-year-old the toast of Bol­ly­wood. Even Nawazud­din knows it. “For the first time in my 15-year- ca­reer I played a mil­lion­aire in [the Sal­man Khan movie] Kick. The out­fits were so good. As soon as I wore them, half the job was done,” he says.

Is he hint­ing that his por­trayal of a con­niv­ing vil­lain, which won him ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the masses as well as the crit­ics, was a cake­walk? Is he im­ply­ing that sharing screen space with Sal­man Khan, the king of pot­boil­ers, was not daunt­ing even though he had never done a blockbuster film be­fore this?

“Well, my mother saw the film but more than my act­ing, she is happy to see me wear­ing good clothes in it,” he laughs, sit­ting in a restau­rant in Mum­bai. “She won’t un­der­stand the nu­ances of my per­for­mance, but is elated that I have donned ex­pen­sive clothes and worn heavy make-up.”

But it’s more then mere de­signer clothes. He has had to strug­gle – work­ing as a cook and even a watch­man to pay for his board while a stu­dent of act­ing, tak­ing up a few

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