The duo apparently stayed together in a one-room apartment in their struggling days. But the two drifted apart once Irrfan rose to prominence.

Both the actors were last seen together in their much acclaimed movie 'The Lunchbox'. They remained cordial and maintained distance during the shoot.

"We were never friends earlier also and not now as well. We work together whenever we are cast in a film together. In the future if I get to work with him I will surely do it. There is no rivalry with him. There is nothing like that. He is my senior and I respect him a lot,” Nawazuddin said.

"We were never in touch with anyone. Every actor works on various projects and happens to meet a lot of people and then you become busy with other commitments... So there is not much time to talk or meet," he added.

It is often said that Nawazuddin tries to follow Irrfan’s path as far as his professional life is concerned but the 39-year-old actor disagrees.

"Why will I follow his path, I know how to work and I am doing it in my own way. I have never followed anyone's path. I am doing films in my own way," he said.

Nawazuddin will be seen next in 'Miss Lovely' alongside former Miss India contestant Niharika Singh. The film is about two brothers struggling to produce an illegal sex-horror film in mid-80s and it is slated for January 18 release.

(Agencies)

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