Nawazuddin earned a name ”˜King of Cannes’ at Cannes











By Manju Mittal

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a well known actor of Bollywood. He has stormed the film Industry with his powerful performance in ”˜Bajrangi Bhaijan’ as Pakistani reporter. Nawaz has been a regular at the prestigious Cannes film festival. ”˜Raman Raghav 2.0’ was his eighth film at the film gala in four years. He was the talk of the town during this year’s Cannes film festival. So much so that he even earned himself a special name ”˜King of Cannes’. He has been to the Cannes for ”˜The Lunchbox’, ”˜Gangs of Wasseypur’, ”˜Miss Lovely’ and ”˜Liar’s Dice’ among others. Among the eight films, Nawaz has been a part of the cast in seven, while one was a short film, which he produced and was directed by his brother Shamas Siddiqui. ”˜Miyan Kal Aana’ was Nawaz’s debut production and was also screened at the festival.

Nawaz was in for a great surprise when his latest film ”˜Raman Raghav’ got a standing ovation of 20 minutes at the Cannes Film festival. The film is based on the notorious life of serial killer Raman Raghav who operated in Mumbai during the mid-1960’s. The title character is played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. ”˜Raman Raghav 2.0’ is directed by well known film maker Anurag Kashyap.

It was great meeting with Nawaz at Cannes Majestic hotel after the premier of ”˜Raman Raghav’. Nawaz was quite busy giving interviews after  the premier of ”˜Raman Rahav’ yet he spared some precious moments in an informal chit chat when he said at the end ”˜kuchh aur poochhna hai poochh lo’,  one of the most down-to-earth actor I have met:

First of all, Congratulations on ”˜Raman Raghav’ premier being chosen at the prestigious Cannes International film festival. How do you feel & what are your impressions of Cannes city?

NS: I have a special relationship with Cannes now that I have become a regular here. This is my third visit to Cannes. People have started recognising me, it feels great. The first time when I came here I was excited and nervous at the same time, I was shocked at not just the grandeur but the passion for cinema people have here. It is amazing. The culture of cinema is very rare to find elsewhere.

I am very happy that ”˜Raman Raghav 2.0’ was premiered at Cannes, it only goes to show that you are on the right track and are making the right choices. I consider myself fortunate playing title role in the film.

Tell us about your journey in Raman Raghav?

NS: Well, it was a challenging role for me. Raman Raghav was not a normal man, he lived in a different world of thoughts, his logic his reasons for what he did were something a normal man can’t even think of. I had to work hard to get into the mind of a serial killer. Before the shoot, I went away from Mumbai for two days to internalise the man’s thought process. By the end of it, I was at times scared of myself. It is a thriller and audience will find it interesting to travel through the mindset of somebody who is not normal. They will know that these kind of people also exist.

How was your experience working with the director Anurag Kashyap?

NS: Anurag Kashyap is one who makes his actors comfortable. Even the difficult characters are made easy and I would know since all my characters in his film were not at all easy to portray. I like him both as a person and a filmmaker. I am very impressed with his knowledge of cinema. Working with Anurag has been a great process of discovery, you are exploring all the time. I am growing with every film.

NS: What other festivals have you been to?

Yes, Berlin, Venice all are good festivals, they showcase good cinema. I have been to Sundance festival. Cannes & Sundance are my favourites.

NS: Tell us about your current projects?

I have done Garth Davis’ ”˜Lion’ with Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara. I enjoyed doing this film because I wanted to be part of a good story. There is another one ”˜Te3N’ with Bachchanji and Vidya Balan,  a suspense thriller set in Kolkata and is releasing on June 10. I am doing a film with Sridevi, ”˜Raees’ with Shahrukh Khan and ”˜Farzi’ with Shahid Kapoor are nearing completion. Here at Cannes I am discussing a film ”˜Manto’ with Nandita Das and I am very excited about it. Many projects are on the floor and in the pipeline.

NS: And a few last words to your fans in Australia?

Thank you for watching my films that I have been in. Love you all and keep watching.

Nawazuddin’s film ”˜Raman Raghav 2.0’ will be released in theatres by the end of June and is also part of the Sydney Film Festival. Surely this actor and his movies one must keep a watch out as they are definitely a must see on our list.

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