Mumbai: It has taken him over 13 years to be finally recognised. From doing blink-and-miss roles to being the hero of the film has not only been a long, but a rather bumpy journey for Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He counts 2012 to be his year with a slew of projects lined up for release. His latest film, Anurag Kashyap’s coal mafia saga, Gangs of Wassyepur released over the weekend.

Currently, the actor is shooting in Ahmedabad, for Shlok Sharma’s film and is in a no-network zone. But networking is something he doesn’t need to exactly do now. With several more films in his kitty, his performances in his recent projects have done the talking, fetching him even more offers as we ask him…

How are you tackling the suddenness of being a known name?

The other day I was at Ahmedabad airport and people kept looking at me. It takes a second look and then it strikes them. People tell me, “Weren’t you the CBI inspector Khan in Kahaani?” I can understand that they are initially puzzled. But yes, after Kahaani, I do get stared at and stopped. For me it has finally happened! I had a small role in the Aamir Khan- starrer Sarfarosh. That was back in 1999. After Kahaani, I can say that a new chapter in my life has begun, as an actor. Attending the Cannes Film Festival was another high.

You share a great rapport with Anurag Kashyap?

Anurag has never auditioned me for any role. I was also part of his earlier films like Black Friday and Dev D. In fact the second part of his latest release will have lots more of me. I am looking forward to it. After doing miniscule parts, it’s great to be the mainstay of a film.

But even in bit roles you got noticed?

I was part of Kabir Khan’s New York. After seeing me in it, Sujoy Ghosh remembered me and called me for Kahaani. Even after Peepli [Live] I was noticed. In the last few years I have done chotu roles in several projects. Now if you see some of them, you might recognise me in films like Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local.

What is the reason behind the sudden demand for you?

The Hindi film industry’s demand for only khoobsurat kirdars is slowly changing. This is giving a chance for people like me to be part of it. For ages there has been this notion about the hero. He has to be a tall and good-looking stud. But now writers are penning scripts that have real characters, there is something to do for the others too besides the hero and heroine. In fact, my family was surprised when I told them I want to be an actor! I was a science student and after graduation even took up a job. But I always wanted to be an actor, so NSD beckoned.

How have your folks reacted to your success?

My family lives in a small town called Budhana, which is in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. I have several siblings. My wife and an infant daughter are also based there. I have no family members in Mumbai except for one brother Shamaas Nawab who is a director. In fact back home, there are no theatres and they have to travel far to watch a film. My folks are simple people and only now are aware about my recognitions. People watch my films and tell them about what I am up to.

Courtesy: Mid-day.com

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