Nawazuddin Siddiqui
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Babumoshai Bandookbaaz team breaks Bollywood norms!

By HT

Mumbai, Aug. 24 -- After the role of Faizal Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Nawazuddin Siddiqui is back in the avatar of a gangster in his new film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz (BB). 
 
The team of the film directed by Kushan Nandy, including Nawazuddin, Divya Dutta, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami and Shraddha Das, visited the Hindustan Times office for a session of [email protected] Amidst a lot of laughter and jokes, they talked about breaking Bollywood norms, standing out and how promotions take a toll.
 
People feel you have revisited the Gangs of Wasseypur character in BB. How different was this role for you?
 
Nawazuddin: This perception occurred as the looks of both characters are similar. But both the films are very different. Faizal had values and wanted revenge and in BB, my character is ruthless, has no values - moral or social. You will find many characters like him in small towns and villages. He breaks the typical Bollywood hero norm and I am glad such characters are being written today in the form of lead role, which is a good change.
 
Divya, how was it working with Nawazuddin?
 
Divya: This is my second film with Nawaz as I did Badlapur (2015) too. What I noticed about him is that he is a very simple man, I love that about him. He talks to you like a friend. When we were working with Sriram (Raghavan; director) he would let us improvise, and do what we wanted to do.
 
Divya, was it tough to get into the villainous avatar in this film?
 
Divya: That is something I want to break. I think it's all attitude, and a sweet face can be deceptive. I just don't want to be image bound, because when a character is loved then you are offered the same kind of roles. So, I am glad that it is changing. For instance, I am playing a villainess in BB. These kinds of roles make my director see me differently. There are two kinds of directors, one who sets examples and one who follow those examples. I choose my directors who set examples and make you look different than your previous roles.
 
Bidita, how has the experience been for you?
 
Bidita: First, let me tell you that more than acting in BB, the promotional tours have been more exhausting (laughs). I do love travelling and this is not my first film. I am from Kolkata, West Bengal and have done twenty-five films in Bengal.
 
Did it play on your mind that you replaced Chitrangda Singh in the film?
 
Bidita: Before reading the script, I used to think about that but after reading it, I was convinced that I have to play this role. You don't get to play such characters often. As this is an unconventional role, I consider myself lucky.
 
Nawazuddin, do you still feel the pressure before the release of your film, especially if you are the protagonist?
 
Nawazuddin: There is absolutely no pressure with regards to the box office collections because the budget of this film isn't that much. I feel we will recover the cost easily. A film like Haraamkhor (2015) was made in '70 lakhs but bought by an online streaming platform for a crore, so we earned more. The problem arises when people deliberately spread the word that the film's budget was higher, so that it looks like a flop.
 
When it comes to your performance, does it matter who your co-star is?
 
Nawazuddin: What scares me the most is if my co-star is a non-actor. For example, I did a film called Patang (2011), where 90% of the cast consisted of non-actors. Initially, I was not able to match their performance. So for 15 days, I stayed with them and studied them, which benefitted me immensely. I learnt a lot about the craft because of them. I feel, when you are honest, the technicality does not matter.
 
Your co-stars admit that they want to be well-prepared while working with you. Do you take it as a compliment?
 
Nawazuddin: I have no idea what to say about this, but yes, I do feel they come with some expectations. I do not take any actor for granted. You are reaching the audience through the camera, so you have to be honest.
 
Bidita was it difficult for you to pick up the dialect of the character, considering you are from Kolkata?
 
Bidita: Yes, it was a bit difficult, which is why I did not improvise at all (laughs). The dialogues written were delivered the way it was supposed to. There were quite a few local actors; I observed them and tried to grasp their accent. Nawazuddin sir is from Uttar Pradesh and he helped me a lot.
 
Jatin, this is your first big break. How nervous were you?
 
Jatin: Of course, there was performance anxiety. I was unable to sleep for three days before the shoot began. But Nawazuddin sir helped me a great deal and he rehearsed with me before I gave my first shot. He asked me how I wanted to do the scene, and we began improvising, which was relaxing and calmed my nerves.
 
Shraddha, how was your experience of shooting for this film?
 
Shraddha: I play a character called Yasmin, a struggling Bhojpuri actress. She is unlike me as she is loud and has a lot of layers. It was a great experience for me. I was a little intimidated by Nawazuddin sir. My look in this film is a bit like a female version of Govinda. Personally, I did not relate to this character, which is why it was more difficult for me.