Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one actor who’s career has had a major transformation. From a mere 2-minute role as a pick-pocketer in Munna Bhai MBBS to playing the lead in critically acclaimed film Haraamkhor, Siddiqui has definitely come a long way. However, he still abides by his roots which lie in theatre.

Talking about his alma mater, Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels National School of Drama (NSD) gave him everything that people in Bollywood haven’t. Speaking here at NSD during Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the college’s annual theatre festival, Siddiqui said, “The confidence that helped me to keep fighting came from the fact that NSD gives you what Bollywood people don’t have.”

“When I left NSD I was full of confidence that I will show the world, but then I realised it was not that easy. However, after failing for a couple of times instead of taking the blame on myself I would ask myself ‘who are these people that are taking my audition, are they even capable of understanding my acting?’,” he added.
After leaving the drama school in 1996, the 42-year-old actor first appeared on the screen in the movie Sarfarosh in 1999, in which he had a one-minute role. The next 10 years saw him doing similar kinds of roles until he bagged Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. It turned out to be a turning point for Nawaz. The actor said that Kashyap’s films keep his connection with theatre alive.

“Anurag Kashyap’s style of work is similar to how we do it here at NSD. It is majorly based on improvisation. He gives you a situation and at times we don’t even have dialogues. As an actor I get to try what I learned here by working in Anurag Kashyap’s films,” Siddiqui said.

Talking about his days of struggle the actor said that “despite the struggle they should always stay positive”. He also advised the students to “read books and watch world cinema”.

“I could have never left the field, because it was the only thing that I was good at. Not getting a job frustrated me since I was a trained actor and was proud of my NSD past. “But you should always stay positive, I gave myself 25 years that I will keep myself fit for 25 years, physically and mentally,” he said.