Nawazuddin Siddiqui had revealed earlier that before courting success in Bollywood he had no money or a place to stay when he arrived in Mumbai. Behind most successful people, there are inspirational stories of how these rich and famous ones have overcome hardships. On Nawaz’s birthday, we bring you his inspiring story.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui was born in a small town in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. After graduation, Siddiqui worked as a chemist in Vadodara for a year, before leaving for Delhi in search of a new job.
He was drawn to acting and secured admission at the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi. After graduating from NSD, he moved to Mumbai to pursue his acting career. Though he bagged a small role in Aamir Khan starrer ‘Sarfarosh’ in 1999, he never set foot into Bollywood until 2007.
Between 2002-05, he was largely out of work, and lived in a flat he shared with four others and survived by conducting occasional acting workshops. He hung out at film studios and shootings but only got stereotypical roles.
In 2004, which was one of the worst years of his struggle, he couldn’t pay rent and asked an NSD senior if he could stay with him. The senior allowed him to share his apartment in Goregaon if he was willing to cook meals for him.
His big breakthrough came with Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Black Friday’ (2007), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.
In 2009, his role of a journalist in Anusha Rizvi’s Peepli Live (2010)got him wide recognition as an actor and he never looked back.
In 2012, he appeared in Prashant Bhargava’s Patang : The Kite (2012) which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, for which Siddiqui’s performance was praised by film critic Roger Ebert, a role which “transformed his acting style”.The film was subsequently released in the U.S. and Canada, and garnered much attention with rave reviews from the New York Times.
He then appeared in Kahaani (2012), in which he played the archetypal short-tempered intelligence officer Khan. Anurag Kashyap’s gangster epic Gangs of Wasseypur followed, which furthered his fame.He played his first primary role as Sonu Duggal in Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely,which premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, a role Siddiqui describes as his “most real performance so far.”Siddiqui then followed this up with the sequel to Gangs of Wasseypur.
In 2013, he played the lead role in the horror flick Aatma. He appeared in Aamir Khan’s 2012 release Talash. In 2014, he played lead antagonist Shiv Gajra, in the blockbuster Kick.
In 2015, Siddiqui’s films Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Manjhi – The Mountain Man were released, and he was praised for his roles. Siddiqui appeared in a film based in Gujarat, titled Haraamkhor. For his performance in Haramkhor, he was awarded “Best Actor” at the New York Indian Film Festival. Siddiqui received the Special Jury Award at the 2012 National Film Awards and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2013.
Siddiqui recently played the role of Balasaheb Thackeray in the biopic Thackeray. Nawaz is now one of the most sought after actors in Bollywood.