Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says he can easily straddle the world of larger than life commercial films and quieter, more reflective independent cinema, being aware of the “kind of acting” both require from him.
Siddiqui, star of acclaimed dramas like the “Gangs of Wasseypur” series, “Photograph”, “Raman Raghav” and “Manto” has often broken out and featured in big scale entertainers, like “Kick”, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” and his upcoming action drama “Heropanti 2”.
In an interview with PTI, Siddiqui said commercial films package the performance of an actor and present them in a “new form”. “There’s a certain presentation of performances in commercial films. That form is entirely different. If you expect to use method acting here, then you’re dumb. This is for fun, the audience of these films comes to enjoy. So, if you sit down to dissect my performances, maybe you’ll find a lot of flaws. But if you take it as pure fun, one would really enjoy,” the actor said.
Siddiqui, 47, is regarded one of the most versatile performers in the Hindi cinema today and has shown an impressive variety and rage through his characters. In 2019 alone, he played the role of Bal Thackeray in “Thackeray”, featured as a gentle street photographer in Ritesh Batra’s critically-acclaimed “Photograph” and a Dubai-returned man looking for a bride in the comedy drama “Motichoor Chaknachoor”.
Though Siddiqui is certain he wouldn’t use method acting when he is featuring in commercial films, the actor said he is not averse to dive deep with his performance in such projects provided there’s no clash with the film’s world. In “Heropanti 2”, where he is cast as a don opposite Tiger Shroff, the actor said the role offered him a chance to “have fun” and not “intellectualise” his character.
“Those ‘acting’ bits do come in when you see potential to be more serious and do the scene. ‘Heropanti 2’ also has those sequences. There’s ‘dialogue-baazi’ but it also has a realistic touch. But you can’t intellectualise it, there’s no scope.
“If you do that, then the audience will get alienated. You need to know what kind of acting is required, otherwise, the text and the subtext will differ. But here, the text is everything- what I’m saying, it is in your face- there is no in-depth study of what the dialogue meant, the how’s and why’s of it,” he added.
“Heropanti 2” is the sequel to the 2014 film of the same name, which was directed by Sabbir Khan. The new film has been made by director-choreographer Ahmed Khan. Siddiqui said he comes from stage training, where he was comfortable doing “all kinds of plays”.
So, even as he awaits the release of “Heropanti 2” on April 29, he is also equally excited for his international project, Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “No Land’s Man”, which he hopes gets a proper screening. The balance between two extreme worlds, Siddiqui said, isn’t new for him.
“Even in theatre, we would do all kinds of plays, from folk to Shakespeare. So, I come from that training. When I do a ‘No Land’s Man’, which is touring festivals and awaiting a release here and at the same time a ‘Heropanti 2’, I’m reminded of my theatre days. I feel like I’m doing a realistic Mohan Rakesh (Hindi writer) play and a larger than life Shakespeare play,” he added.
“Heropanti 2” is backed by filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala and written by Rajat Arora, known for penning hits like “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai”, “The Dirty Picture” and “Baadshaho”