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Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Also known as: Nawazuddin
Actor • Special Appearances
Born: May 19, 1974 in Uttar Pradesh, India
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About
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 (2016).
Personal Life
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.
Acting Career
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 starrer Raees 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.
Peers & More
Irrfan Khan
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Kay Kay Menon
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Manoj Bajpayee
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Anjali Siddiqui
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Did You Know? (15)

  • Petta (2019) marked Nawazuddin Siddiqui's debut in Tamil cinema.
  • According to actress-turned-filmmaker Nandita Das, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was so impressed by the screenplay of Manto (2018) that he offered to do the film for the remuneration of a single rupee!!
  • While he was struggling in Bollywood, Nawazuddin Siddiqui conducted acting classes.
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui's younger brother, Shamas Nawab Siddiqui, is a director.
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui married Anjali at a very young age.
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui had done minor roles in Bollywood until Kahaani. He was surprised when Sujoy offered him the role of inspector Khan.
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui debuted with this movie. He got the role of one of the criminals in the film because the actor who was supposed to do the role did not show up on the day of shooting.
  • One among Nawazuddin Siddiqui's earliest acting jobs was the Sachin Ala Re ad campaign by Pepsi, where he appeared as a dhobi.
  • Nawazuddin's favourite actor is Ashish Vidyarthi. The veteran character actor is best known for films like Droh Kaal (1994) and Haider (2014), the former of which won him a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.
  • In 2016, Nawazuddin Siddiqui had to pull out from a stage adaptation of Ram Leela after political party Shiv Sena raised an objection against a Muslim artist portraying a Hindu mythological figure.
  • Nawazuddin is an alumnus of the National School of Drama.
  • During his struggling days as an aspiring actor, Nawazuddin used to work as a watchman at a toy factory in Noida.
  • Nawazuddin has a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Prior to joining the National School of Drama, he worked for over an year as a chemist in Vadodara.
  • At the 60th National Film Awards, Nawazuddin received a Special Jury Mention for his performance in films like Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur and Talaash. This was also his breakout year (2012).
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui created quite the buzz in NYC when he took to the streets in his Babumoshai avatar - wearing a lungi and holding a transistor, not to forget the iconic lota! Needless to say, the novel promotional initiative was a grand success.
  • Personal Quotes (16)

  • "We have reached a place where Nawazuddin Siddiqui can be the sole hero of a movie."
  • "My motto is, kaam karo aur dafa ho jao. "
  • "Bollywood doesn't need more reality, it needs truth."
  • "I don't want to do only meaningful films or those that have a message to convey. I want to do roles that put me in a difficult spot."
  • "Before I came to Mumbai, many said, `Don't go. Wahan pe toh saare lambe, chaure, chitthe log chahiye, tum kyun waste kar rahe ho apna time?' I came here with out a dream as that was already nipped in the bud. I tried out serials but nothing happened. After that, I started getting small roles. I had no qualms doing them as I had no dream of becoming a star."
  • "My mother told me, ‘Kachre ke dher ki bhi jagah badalti hai. Tum toh insaan ho. Tumhara bhi din aayega. I believe she was right. My time has come and I’m here"
  • "I have never thought of creating an image for myself in Bollywood. I am an actor and just want to experiment with roles"
  • "My effort is, that without my getup i should concentrate on how different i can be, even mentally. I practice acting even when i have no work. Dancers and singers do it, so why shouldn't we?"
  • "A good scripted film keeps more importance for me as it comes in my comfort zone. Once you're a commercial star you're largely restricted to playing a single-minded state."
  • "Sometimes, when you delve intothe minds of characters, you realise that even though their thoughts and actions are definitely socially unacceptable, there's some truth to what they think."
  • "An actor's weakness is the different roles that he can't do. But i am keen to grab only those roles as i'm here to challenge myself. "
  • "There're three kinds of actors -- Good actors, bad actors and Salman Khan."
  • "I didn't know one has to lift weights to become an actor. I can look stronger through my eyes than my abs."
  • "Talent works only in the first film. But in the second film, an actor needs to show how much he knows about the craft. And that comes through training. "
  • "The process of attachment with a character is more difficult than the process of detachment. You need to mold into how he speaks, thinks and lives. Reaching that point is challenging and difficult."
  • "There are so many unconventional stories being told so beautifully and the audience is lapping them up too. Then why do i have to move to the West to prove my talent? You do not have to work in the West to prove yourself."
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