Bollywood's unstoppable Babu: Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Arrogant, lafanga (loafer) and rowdy, words that come to mind when you see the poster of Babumoshai Ban-dookbaaz. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s swaggering look in which the actor is seen biting into a fruit, sitting on a Royal Enfield, with a gun popping out of his pocket has been the talk of town for a while now. Nawaz’s fifth feature film this year, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, in which he plays Babu, a contract killer, is set to hit the screens in the last week of August.
Dare to bare
From the trailer and songs rele-ased, it is evident that Babumoshai may perhaps revive Nawaz’s image of the small-budget film hero, akin to his cult image of Faizal Khan from Gangs of Wasseypur films — the role that made him a sensation in Bolly-wood. “I won’t say it’s a complete revival of my previous character. It’s just the film’s setting that is similar. Faizal was very emotional and valued morals. Babu is shameless, love is nothing but lust for him and he is a lot more humorous than Faizal,” says Nawaz. Unlike other roles played by him earlier, Babu will certainly paint a different image for the character actor. Courtesy, the bold scenes with Bidita Bag, his co-actor. Though a seasoned professional, these scenes did put Nawaz in an uncomfortable position. He reveals, “I met Bidita for the first time on the sets of this film. I was nervous. You feel conscious when you have to act in such bold scenes because you don’t know how your co-actor will react to your enthusiasm and sincerity to give the best shot. But Bidita had full faith in me. With time, it got better and I got comfortable.”
So far, this year has turned out to be the most significant one for Nawaz. His four feature films and one short film have already made enough noise. The feature films, Haraamkhor, Raees, Mom and Munna Michael, have had a good run at the box office. The short film, In Defence of Freedom, by Nandita Das, in which Nawaz plays the role of author Saadat Hasan Manto, has garnered several thousand clicks online. His next film, The Maya Tape, is in the post-production stage and Carbon, a short-film will be released soon. Nawaz has been unstoppable and he is truly enjoying the attention. “It’s my habit to keep working all the time. When I used to do theatre during my younger days at the National School of Drama, in Delhi, we used to rehearse for five to six plays at a time. Since then, I am used to working this hard. But I always take at least a month’s gap between two films so that I am able to erase the previous role from my mind and get rid of the body language. I empty myself completely before my next project,” he says.
12 years a reject
Nawaz has set a different benchmark for himself in the industry with the varied roles he has been playing. He says it hasn’t been an easy journey up. But he never regrets everything that happened. “I never think of my past. It’s over. For 12 years, I was called a rejected actor. I would be rejected even for a small role but I never thought, ab kuch nahin hoga mera (nothing will work out for me). I was always hopeful. I used to be frustrated at times. But I was never depressed.” Today, the poster of Babumoshai Bandook-baaz showcases an indomitable Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the same man who made his debut in 1999 with a small role in Aamir Khan-starrer Sarfarosh. Does this mean Nawaz is a lot more confident? In his signature style, the actor signs off saying, “I have done what the director has asked me to do as Babu. Lekin real life mein
confidence abhi bhi lack karta hoon (In real life, I still lack confidence).