Celebrated Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui (‘Sacred Games’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘The Lunchbox’) performed well in a masterclass at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, on Tuesday.
The actor, several of whose films have premiered at Cannes, was candid in a candid conversation with actor and festival steering committee member Vani Tripathi, speaking about his storied career as an actor and some of his hobbies.
“I’m sorry to say it, but I need to make sure people know about it before we start a shot [on Bollywood sets] there is so much noise and so many voices and the director expects the best from his actors,” said Siddiqui. “Suddenly they say the shot is ready and ‘action’ – are we computers? I have a problem with this – we could achieve so much more with some silence on set, but we can’t because we have no silence at all.
Another annoyance of Siddiqui is the lack of character descriptions in Bollywood scripts. “Unfortunately, there are very few directors who write features in a script – they write dialogue and directing. The character you write dialogues for, what kind of person is he? What’s his temperament? It’s not written,” Siddiqui said. “They tell me details about the set, why don’t they write them in the script?”
Elsewhere, discussing the craft of acting, Siddiqui said it’s important to leave each character behind before moving on to the next. “If you have to start from scratch, you must first unlearn what you have learned,” said the actor. He also talked about his early struggles and said how Anurag Kashyap’s “Gangs of Wasseypur” was a turning point in his career. “I was confident that my struggles would be over after this and that people will appreciate this film,” he said.
Siddiqui also reminisced about how he was persuaded by Kashyap to play a pivotal role in Netflix’s “Sacred Games” as he initially thought it was TV and didn’t know much about streaming platforms at the time. The actor shared his experience of playing diverse roles back-to-back in biopics ‘Manto’, where he played Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto, and ‘Thackeray’, where he played politician Bal Thackeray and about playing a trans person in the upcoming “Hadi.”
“Acting is my everything, it’s my life. Even one life is not enough to satisfy my appetite for acting,” said Siddiqui.