The last decade can be said to belong to Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The actor, who broke out with his performance as a police officer in Kahaani, and then conquered the heartland with Gangs of Wasseypur, has emerged as one of the finest performers in the country. Eight of his films have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2018, his debut Netflix series, Sacred Games, catapulted him to international stardom. Even during the lockdown, while stars are starved for releases, Nawaz has had them coming. Yet, none of this has been easy. In the latest edition of Time Pass, a series of webinars organized by The New Indian Express group, Nawaz sat down with senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai to discuss his 21-year-long journey.
“I’ve faced many disappointments in life,” Nawaz shared. “Rejections would hurt. Even more stressful was the question of survival. Thankfully, I had many friends who helped me get by. I would eat at one friend’s house and bathe at another’s. That’s how I managed.” One companion during this phase was actor-comedian Rajpal Yadav. “Rajpal had done movies like Jungle (2000) by then and was earning well. I remember he helped me a lot. He also introduced me to Anurag Kashyap.”