Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui was last seen in back-to-back Netflix releases Raat Akeli Hai and Serious Men. He further has a lineup, which includes Bole Chudiyan, Jogira Sara Ra Ra, Sangeen and Heropanti 2. But, of late, he has been spending a lot of time away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi - in his hometown.
Subhash K Jha spoke to him about this change of place. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Nawaz, lately you have been spending a lot of time in your hometown?
A: Jee, Sir. Yahan pe bahut sukoon hai. The one good thing that the Covid pandemic gave me was time away from the shor-sharaaba and bhaag-daud of the city. In my hometown Budhana everything is quiet, reposeful. I can’t describe to you the feeling of peace that descends when I come here. You will have to come and experience it yourself.
Q: You have spent a lot of time in Budhana?
A: Yes, since the lockdown. Mumbai mein kaam thapp (stand still) hogaya, toh main ghar aa gaya. Over here I thought I’d spend some time with my mother and then return. But since no work was happening in Mumbai I stayed on.Dekhte dekhte saal nikal gaya. I realized how happy I was at home.
Q: Would you consider working from Budhana?
A: Why not? In fact, work-at-home is the new normal. As long as I am not shooting I can do everything from here, story session, narrations on Zoom. Even dubbing can be done from here.
Q: So what are you - a farmer or an actor?
A: Actor by profession, 'Lekin dil se main kisaan hoon' (I am farmer at heart). I love to be close to the zameen. I am the happiest when working on the land. When I am in Budhana I even sleep on my farmland. I am the happiest when I am farming.
Q: What about acting?
A: It is equally important to me. Farming and acting come naturally to me. Baqi sab dikhawa hai. I’ve signed quite a few interesting projects lately.
Q: What do you think of the rapid growth of the OTT platform in the last two years?
A: I've believed in the OTT platform for a long time. My Scared Games was one of the first big successes on the Indian digital platform. Tabhi main samajh gaya. This platform is here to stay. But it can’t replace the cinema big screen experience. Both the platforms have their individual space.
Image source: SpotboyE archives, Instagram/nawazuddin._siddiqui