Nawazuddin Siddiqui: I can look stronger through my eyes than my abs

Here's the latest update from the world of Bollywood. We bet you wouldn't want to miss this. Read on for details... The actor says that talent is more important to him than a toned body

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is among those lucky actors who are loved equally by the masses and the critics. He has 2 big releases lined up for next month -- Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 and Ribhu Dasgupta’s TE3N. In an exclusive interview with SpotboyE, Nawaz opens up about films and the highs and lows of being a part of B-Town. Excerpts...

What was your first reaction when Anurag offered you Raman Raghav 2.0? 
I am quite used to Anurag’s offers, he throws characters at me. He gave me a dancer’s role in Dev D (2009), and when I told him that I won’t be able to do it, he said, ‘You have to, because I am sure that you can’.  Anurag told me about Raman Raghav 2.0 during the time of Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). 

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Aren’t you worried that playing a serial killer might go against your image? 
I want to break the stereotypes. While I play a psychopath in Raman Raghav, I will be seen as a romantic hero in Sohail Khan’s next. As an actor, I should utilise this time and take advantage of it. 

How did you get Raman Raghav’s look? What about the make-up?
Raman is Anurag’s imagination, my contribution is zero. As far as make-up is concerned, we didn’t have to do much. In fact, mental preparation took more time because Raman doesn’t think like normal people. 

How did Raman’s character affect you? 
I was in pain and had to be hospitalised. Seems, even in my unconscious state, I was repeating dialogues from the film. Finally, my wife called up Anurag and said, ‘What have you done to my husband?’. 

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Let’s talk about Anurag. He was not very happy with Bombay Velvet (2015)... 
I would say it was an experiment. Anurag doesn’t play a safe game. He experimented in Bombay Velvet and failed. It's not a big deal.

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What did you think of the film?
I felt it was an experiment and it is good to experiment in your career.

You said you are playing a romantic hero in Sohail’s film.  Are you comfortable with it?
Absolutely, it is just another character. 

Do you have any intimate scenes in it? 
I have done such scenes in Gangs of Wasseypur and Badlapur; and I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. It’s all part of the job. In fact, it is more fun doing such scenes, they happen very easily.

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But, are you okay with romance? A few years ago, you said something about romantic heroes and Rishi Kapoor didn’t like it… (Nawaz’s comments about romantic heroes doing nothing but running around trees had irked Rishi)... 
I don’t know what happened, or who told him what. He is my senior and I will never disrespect him. 

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Have you met Rishi after the incident?
I have not met him, but I have spoken to him on phone once or twice. There is no misunderstanding between us and everything is fine.

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So did you call him up and clear the air?
Yes, I did call Rishi to clear the air

At one point, you rejected 175 roles. Why? 
I will do a film only if I like the script. It doesn’t matter if it’s a low-budget or big-budget project. 

But if it’s a small film, you might not get your market price... 
Absolutely. I don’t have a fixed market price, it changes according to the film’s budget. 

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With such non-conventional looks and physique, did you ever think you will come so far?
If and when I am offered the role of a sportsperson or bodybuilder, I will work on my body and looks. Being fit is important, but I will not make 6-pack abs unnecessarily. 

Do you go to the gym?
Maybe once in a year. 

Why so?
I don’t have time. Also, I didn’t know one has to lift weights to become an actor. I would not have joined the industry had I known that. On a serious note, if you have a normal physique, you can do a variety of characters. I feel sitting at home and working on the script and role is much better. I can look stronger through my eyes than my abs. 

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How satisfied are you with your career?
I am satisfied, but as human beings, our desire to do something more never ends.