Over the years, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has managed to secure a place in the hearts of millions of fans thanks to powerful performances in films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Badlapur, Manjhi and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. His memorable performance in Kahaani almost over-powered that of Parambrata, one of the lead actors in the film.
However, the road for the 43-year-old wasn’t all that smooth. Tough times awaited the actor when he left his village Muzaffarnagar to move to Delhi and try his luck in theatre. Born in a farmer’s family in the small village under Budhana district in Uttar Pradesh, Siddiqui had to struggle a lot since childhood. The fact that he grew up among nine siblings in a lawless area managed by goons did not stop him from completing his education. He attained a degree in science from Haridwar and started working as a chemist. Soon enough, his passion for the arts made him leave home for the capital.
Siddiqui started out working as a watchman for a brief period before joining the National School of Drama (NSD). After graduating with a degree in acting, he set his eyes on Bollywood. Siddiqui’s first Bollywood appearance was a 61-second role in the 1999 hit Sarfarosh. The actor was paid a meager Rs 500 for a day’s work.
Siddiqui’s luck turned for the better only after director Anurag Kashyap spotted him much later, during a time he was almost giving up on his acting career. Kashyap offered him a meaty role in the controversial film Black Friday, and the actor never had to look back as he kept on giving delightful performances in critically acclaimed movies like Paan Singh Tomar, Dev D, Peepli Live, Kahaani, and New York. However, it was Anurag Kashyap’s epic gangster drama series, Gangs of Wasseypur, that propelled Siddiqui towards stardom.
Since then, his exploits in Talaash, Kick, Badlapur, Manjhi, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Raees have been well-recieved by audiences and critics alike.
His recent interview with a leading news agency in India revealed yet another unknown fact about the actor. Siddiqui revealed that, as a kid, he used to dance at weddings with his friends to collect the money thrown at baraatis (friends and families of the groom). He said, “Me and my friends used to attend all the weddings in our area to collect money. By the end of the day, we would manage to collect two to three rupees, which was quite a hefty amount for us at that
The versatile actor will be displaying his dancing skills in Munna Michael alongside Tiger Shroff, who is better known for his suave dance moves. On the contrary, Siddiqui admitted that he prefers being away from dancing since childhood and this is why he almost said no to the director. Siddiqui said, “When director Sabbir Khan told me about this role, I told him that I can’t do it. But in the end, he convinced me to take up the film and made sure that I follow his vision.”
When asked whether he gave Tiger any acting tips, the actor replied, “No I haven’t. He is capable and talented enough to do things on his own and there was no need for me to help him with acting.”
Set to release on July 21, Munna Michael is being produced by Viki Rajani and Eros International.