When Amitabh Bachchan defended Nawazuddin Siddiqui, lauded his hard work: ‘Just because you’re a farmer…’

Bollywood Entertainment

Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui were seen together in the 2016 film Te3n. Before the film’s release, the veteran actor was asked about Nawazuddin’s ‘inspirational’ tale, and how he was a farmer before he joined showbiz. In response, Amitabh said the idea that ‘just because you are a farmer and you’ve become a respected member of showbiz’ was a ‘bad figure of speech in defining’ Nawazuddin’s inspirational story. (Also read: Nawazuddin Siddiqui says ‘stars who charge 100 crore’ are harming films)

Amitabh further questioned that the notion that people, who come from a farming background ‘cannot be entertainers in showbiz’. He added that Nawazuddin’s story was inspirational because ‘his immense talent and hard work’ brought him where he deserved to be. Amitabh Bachchan also said that Nawazuddin’s performances ‘are simple’, which was the ‘most difficult task’ for an actor.

When asked what struck him about Nawazuddin as an actor, and ‘his inspirational tale, from being a farmer to showbiz,’ Amitabh said in a 2016 interview with Filmfare, “Just because you are a farmer and you’ve become a respected member of showbiz… this is bad figure of speech in defining an inspirational tale. What are you trying to say? That farmers cannot be entertainers in showbiz? Nawaz’s an inspirational story because his immense talent and hard work brought him to where he deservedly is today.”

Further speaking about why Nawazuddin was ‘loved and admired’, Amitabh had said, “His performances are simple. It’s the most difficult task for an actor to be simple in front of the camera. Which is why he is so loved and admired. I never found him, and I am sure neither have others who have worked with him, deliver his dialogue by ‘rote’. He shall spend just that nano moment to understand what the other actor in front of him has said, even though he and we, all know that we have been through the script a million times and know what is to be said. But to behave that it’s being heard for the very first time and then say the lines, is what defines a great actor. Nawaz has that degree of greatness in him.”

Nawazuddin has won awards for his roles in internationally-feted films such as Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013). Nawazuddin, who has often spoke about his love for farming, grew up in Uttar Pradesh, and became the first graduate from his village with a degree in chemistry.

He was a student at Delhi’s National School of Drama, and made his first film appearance in the 1999 Aamir Khan-starrer Sarfarosh. Since then, he has acted in many films, including Talaash: The Answer Lies Within (2012), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Manto (2018) and Thackeray (2019), among others. He has also starred in the International Emmy-nominated series Sacred Games (2019). Nawazuddin will essay the role of a transgender in his next movie, Haddi, which is set to be released in 2023.

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