New Delhi: Critically-acclaimed actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says he loves playing dry characters that do not go overboard with emotions, even though the audience rarely roots for such roles. The actor has been in business for over two decades, and he has his favourites when it comes to his characters. Surprisingly, they are not the ones that brought him fame.
"The characters that are my favourite, are not liked by people much. My favourite character was the one that I played in 'Photograph' (street photographer Rafi). I had done a film called 'Patang'. I like that character (wedding band-singer Chakku) too because there wasn't much acting involved. While doing these roles, the intention was to show an ordinary man with no special qualities, and less drama," he said.
"But these kind of characters are generally not liked by the audience. I am not saying that the audience is wrong. It's just that my likes and dislikes are different. The audience likes a little bit of drama and emotion. Frankly speaking, I like dry characters a lot. The ones that don't have too much of emotions. There should be some dryness. The way people are in real life. Like not crying in the middle of the road. But in movies, two emotions work a lot -- being happy and sad," added the actor, who has starred in hits like "The Lunchbox", "Kick" and "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".
Among his popular roles he considers playing late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in "Thackeray", close to his heart. "I really liked playing Thackeray. I had prepared for it a lot. There were many challenges. I had to ensure not to completely copy him, but at the same time look like Thackeray. And for actors, when you put in a lot of effort that becomes close to their hearts," he said.
But he wasn't always the first choice to front the cast of a film. In the beginning of his career, he portrayed small roles in big films like "Sarfarosh" and "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.". Asked if he regrets doing those films, he replied: "Who would have given me a role in the beginning of my career? I didn't have good looks or an extraordinary personality or a good voice. I was not handsome. I knew that I had to begin my career with small roles. I had thought that even if I get to do only small roles, I would be okay with them. I just wanted to stay busy. I am mad about acting so, I was satisfied with small roles too. But thanks to all the filmmakers who gave me opportunities."
Last year, his films "Raat Akeli Hai", "Ghoomketu" and "Serious Men" had released on digital platforms. "I had done most of these films for theatres only. But during lockdown, we couldn't release the films in theatres. OTT is also good due to its wide reach. Also, I feel that since people get to watch world cinema on such platforms, they will get educated and go beyond formula films," said the actor.
The "Sacred Games" star is against OTT censorship. "There shouldn't be censorship, but if you are making a project just for sensationalism, to get viewership, that's absolutely wrong. Certification is fine. If you start censoring content, then real characters will stop being shown in films. At the same time, as a creative person, it's your responsibility too. Don't unnecessarily sensationalise things," said Nawazuddin.
The actor is now in London for the shoot of his upcoming film "Sangeen". "Now, I will work only. I had enough of rest at home due to the lockdown. I have a line-up up to 2022. I will continuously work for one or one and half years, then will think of taking a break," said the actor, who also has the films "Bole Chudiyan", "Jogira Sara Ra Ra" and "No Land's Man" lined up.