Nawazuddin Siddiqui is an Indian film actor who appears in Bollywood movies and is best known for his role in Anurag Kashyap`s
crime-drama Gangs of Wasseypur II
(2012). His role as Faizal Khan not only got him critical applause but also won him several awards including the Special Jury Award at the National Film Awards in 2012. He has also won applause for his performances in Kahaani
(2012), Dekh Indian Circus
(2011), and Talaash
. In 2016, Nawazuddin received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance in the movie Raman Raghav 2.0
Nawazuddin lives in Mumbai at Yari Road with his wife Anjali Siddiqui, and younger brother Shamas Nawab Siddiqui, who is a director. The couple has a daughter, Shora, and a son, who was born on Nawazuddin`s 41st birthday.
Nawazuddin`s acting career perfectly epitomizes the `rags to riches` story. To pursue a career in acting, Siddiqui enrolled at the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, and later moved to Mumbai. He made his Bollywood debut with the movie Sarfarosh
(1999), which had Aamir Khan
and Sonali Bendre
in the lead roles. The actor had only a small role in the movie and his performance went unnoticed. He later appeared in the movies Jungle
(2000) and Munnabhai MBBS
(2003); both these movies saw him playing smaller roles. Siddiqui also tried to get work in television serials but couldn`t find any success there as well.
In 2003, Siddiqui appeared in a short film, The Bypass
, alongside Irrfan Khan
. However, for the major part from 2002 to 2005, Nawazuddin was out of work. Further, with his acting career going nowhere, the struggling actor faced one of his worst years in Mumbai. In 2004 after he couldn`t afford to pay rent, he approached an NSD senior for help. The senior offered to help him provided that the latter cooked food for him. The actor agreed to do so and started living in Goregoan, and also conducted acting workshops to make ends meet.
It was his role in Anurag Kashyap`s
2007 Black Friday
that paved the way for better roles. Soon, Nawazuddin bagged his first lead role as `Chakku` in the movie, Patang
(2012), directed by Prashant Bhargava. The movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival, following which the world-renowned critic Roger Ebert praised his natural acting talent. Later, Nawazuddin also featured in the song `Emotional Atyachar` from the movie Dev.D
(2009). While his role in the movie New York
(2009) did not go unnoticed, it was his performance in Peepli Live
(2010), as a journalist, that gave him wide recognition in the industry.
A couple of years later, Nawazuddin got his breakthrough role with the movie Kahani
(2012), directed by Sujoy Ghosh
. The movie which had Vidya Balan
in the lead role had Nawazuddin portraying the role of an earnest short-tempered Intelligence Bureau officer, which he essayed with utmost conviction. He also starred in the internationally acclaimed movie Miss Lovely
(2014). He described his role as his most real performance. He was also a part of Reema Kagti`s
2012 movie, Talaash
: The Answer Lies Within, starring Aamir Khan
, Kareena Kapoor Khan
and Rani Mukerji
. Further, he added to his popularity with a gritty performance as Faizal Khan in Anurag Kashyap`s Gangs of Wasseypur II
. His performance in the movie cemented his place among the top actors in Bollywood.
In 2015, Nawazuddin appeared in two movies, Bajrangi Bhaijaan
, and Manjhi - The Mountain Man
. He was applauded for his role in both these movies. In the same year, he also starred in the movie Haramkhor, directed by Shlok Sharma
. Nawazuddin received the Best Actor award at the New York Indian Film Festival. In 2016, Nawazuddin starred in the movie Raman Raghav 2.0, a movie inspired by the real life notorious serial killer Raman Raghav, directed by Anurag Kashyap. Although that the movie opened to mixed responses at the box office, Nawazuddin`s performance as applauded. Nawazuddin delivered yet another powerpacked performance in Freaky Ali, a sports romantic comedy, which was written and directed by Sohail Khan.
The year 2017 saw Nawazuddin in a slew of well-received movies, among which were the Shah Rukh Khan
and the musical mystery comedy Jagga Jasoos starring Ranbir Kapoor. Besides these, the actor also essayed the titular role in the action crime drama Babumoshai Bandookbaaz where he portrayed a sharp-shooting contract killer. In 2018, Nawazuddin played yesteryear writer Saadat Hasan Manto in the acclaimed biographical drama Manto
, which was directed by Nandita Das. His performance was lauded by the critics and the audience alike, and won him the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Actor that year.
In 2019, he debuted in Tamil cinema with a pivotal role in the Rajinikanth starrer Petta
, which was directed by Karthik Subbaraj. In the same year, he portrayed the titular role in the bilingual biographical drama Thackeray
(2019) which chronicled the life and times of Shiv Sena founder and politician Bal Thackeray. Other notable projects in recent times include Photograph
(2019), Motichoor Chaknachoor (2019) and Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa (2020). He makes a cameo in the 2019 release Housefull 4
, which is directed by Farhad Samji.