By Sandeep Sharma
From a waiter and pickpocket to a goon, gangster and a reporter -- in a career spanning over 15 years, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has showcased his versatility. Now soon to be seen as a school teacher in "Haraamkhor", he says he has never focused on building a set image for himself in Bollywood. And that's what gives him a chance to experiment with every project in an age of digitisation.
"I have never thought about creating an image for myself in Bollywood. I am an actor and just want to experiment with roles. I am ready to do all type of roles," Nawazuddin told IANS in an interview.
"I don't want to build any image for myself. I don't want people to say, 'He does only a certain type of role'. I don't want only to be the hero of the story. An actor's weakness is the different roles that he can't do. But I am keen to grab only those roles as I am here to challenge myself," added the critically-acclaimed talent.
He credits his acting skills to his training at the National School of Drama. "You gain a lot through training," said the 42-year-old, who is endorsing social commerce platform addsbook.com.
The National Award-winning actor said he is happy with the digital world, but he does not like it when people use social media platforms to troll each other.
"It's bad that people waste most of their time on various social media platforms looking through and commenting on others' posts. That's what we call the wrong use of digitalisation," said the actor, best known for his roles in films like "Dekh Indian Circus", "Gangs of Wasseypur ", "Talaash", "The Lunchbox" and "Manjhi - The Mountain Man".
"One negative impact of digital media is that people have the liberty to say what they want to. There aren't any restrictions.
"I understand that people have freedom of speech, but people should have some sense while saying anything. People nowadays give reviews of films on social media. But are they capable enough to do that; do they have those kind of skills," Nawazuddin questioned.
Looking at the positive aspect of the digital boom, he said: "Digital media is bringing out hidden talent which was unapproachable for the industry people."
Nawazuddin's first release for the new year is debut director Shlok Sharma's "Haraamkhor", which hits screens on January 13. After that, he will be seen with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the much-awaited "Raees".
"I have huge expectations from 'Raees'. It's an entertaining film, and I enjoyed shooting for it," Nawazuddin said.
How was it working with Shah Rukh?
"Shah Rukh Khan is the best co-actor. The response that he gives to you while performing scenes is terrific. (Otherwise) I have seen most of the times that while shooting, actors don't listen to your dialogues or see your expressions, and are mainly concerned about their lines," he said.
Nawazuddin also said: "Whatever appreciation I get for my role in 'Raees' will be just because of Shah Rukh Khan. He has respected his character a lot. Also, the chemistry between us is good".
Nawazuddin has also been roped in to star in the film adaptation of Sujit Saraf's novel "The Confession of Sultana Daku".
"I have signed on to play Sultana Daku in the film adaptation. The film's story is beyond dacoity," said the actor, who also has "Munna Michael" in the pipeline.
(Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)