Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who has set a new benchmark with his acting is celebrated widely for his spectacular performance in films like 'Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2', 'Manto', 'Thackeray', among others. The actor who is now all set to share screen space with 'Daangal' actress Sanya Malhotra in Ritesh Batra's 'Photograph', recently opened up about his journey in the industry.
The actor who belonged from a humble beginning made a name for himself in the industry with absolute hard work and dedication. Talking to social media blog 'Humans of Bombay' which retells the stories of Mumbai city's inhabitants, the actor opened up about hard times he had to cross to reach where he is today. Nawazuddin Siddiqui revealed that his fondness of acting originated at a very young age when he first encountered with acting while watching Ram Leela in a friend's place.
Reminisced his childhood, the actor told “I grew up in a small town in UP. I come from a family of farm workers; we were 11 people–my parents and my 9 siblings. I was the oldest, so it fell upon me to take care of them. I made them follow a time table and do their homework. If they were mischievous I’d shout at them–of course, I was the naughtiest! In fact, during Diwali, my friends and I would steal diyas!" he said.
"Our family would watch Ram Leela together–my first encounter with acting. My friend played Ram and seeing him left me starstruck! I imagined playing the role myself!" he added.
His idea of acting eventually became his dream which finally brought him to Mumbai. Narrating how it happened, the actor said, "After college, I worked in Baroda. There, I watched a play for the first time and the thought of being an actor became a dream. So I went where everybody with a dream of acting goes–Bombay. My parents, who were uneducated, supported me. They said I could do anything as long as I worked hard."
However, the small-town boy appears to have had a hard time coping up with the fast-paced life in Mumbai initially. However, he didn't give up.
"My first impression of Bombay was how fast it was. It took me a month to get used to the pace of life–I thought I’d never be able to match up! But slowly I joined the rat race. I wasn’t well off. I’d borrow money from friends, saying I’d return it in 2 days. Two days later, I’d borrow money from someone else and pay the first person back. I lived in a flat with 4 people–it was about survival." he said while having a conversation with HOB.
"But my family had my back. They told me to not give up! My mom didn’t have a mobile, so she’d send me letters and they got me through some really tough times. She’d tell me not to worry and remind me that I was only human and doing my best. So that’s what I did." he further stated.
Since success comes easy to none, the actor celebrated for his versatility and intense persona, had to do several odd jobs to survive his dream.
"I did odd jobs–as a watchman or a coriander seller. I went for 100 auditions and took every role I got, no matter how small. It took 12 years to get a ‘breakthrough’. It wasn’t easy–the struggle wasn’t beautiful, it was just a struggle. But I did it." the actor stated.
They say, perseverance pays back, and rightly so. From doing small roles in films, Nawaz eventually flourished as this critically acclaimed performer who later shared the screen-space with several A-listers of Bollywood.
"I went from a tiny role in Munnabhai to winning a Filmfare for Lunchbox. I went from being unrecognized in Sarfarosh to being known as Ganesh Gaitonde across the nation. I went from being a watchman to becoming the ‘watch me’ man and I’m nowhere near being done, so keep watching–I’m here to stay!” the actor said.
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'Photograph' is releasing on Friday, March 15 and from the trailer, it looks promising indeed.