In conversation with Nawazuddin Siddiqui on lockdown

I am glad to be alone, I am getting to know myself better:  Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Actor-extraordinaire Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s life has changed after the nationwide lockdown. In an exclusive conversation with this writer Nawazuddin spoke of the change he feels as a human being and as an actor.

“I am completely alone in my home in Mumbai. My wife left with my two children for her maike (parents’ home) in Jabalpur just a few days before the lockdown. I am all alone in the house in Mumbai. I am used to being alone. I stayed all by myself for 18 years in Mumbai when I was trying to get work. So here I am once again. I do my own cooking—nothing fancy just basic meals–washing, cleaning…believe me, it is very calming. Do I miss company? Not at all! I am glad to be alone. I’m getting to know myself better,” says Nawaz.

It is as an actor that Nawaz is evolving in isolation.

Says Nawaz, “I’ve always watched a lot of films by my favourite actors like Marlon Brando and Dilip Kumar. But now I am binging on the films of 8 actors: Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day Lewis, Ricardo Darin, Tony Leung, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey. Matthew McConaughey. Every day I’m learning something new from each of these actors.At the moment my favourite actor is the Argentinian Ricardo Darin. I strongly recommend his film The Secret In Their Eyes to see what outstanding acting is. Darin is on another level.”

Nawaz feels the change in him. “As I watch these actors it’s like a masterclass to me. I feel all that I’ve done so far have paled in comparison. We in India are still making formula films. Now after the lockdown and the virus when I return to work, I will be searching for a new level of satisfaction as an actor. It’s a challenge and I hope I’m up to it.”

Nawaz who was last seen giving a brilliant performance in the short film Bebaak says life after the pandemic will change radically. “The way people behave, the food that they crave, the films that they enjoy will all be different new. We are entering into a new phase of civilization where hopefully there will be more room for compassion even as physical contact will lessen.”

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