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Exclusive! Nawazuddin Siddiqui on Heropanti 2: I keep my friends from my hometown in mind while signing commercial films

Nawazuddin Siddiqui spoke at length about Tiger Shroff's development as an actor and the similarities between his character, Laila, and his role in Kick. The actor also discussed how he unwinds from the intense characters he has played over the years.

  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 09.45 AM, Apr 27, 2022

Exclusive! Nawazuddin Siddiqui on Heropanti 2: I keep my friends from my hometown in mind while signing commercial films

It's not every time you see an incredibly talented actor oozing into a character so easily. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of the few gems in Indian cinema who has time and again proven that he is one of the best talents we have in the country. After multiple OTT releases like Ghoomketu (ZEE5), Raat Akeli Hai, and Serious Men (Netflix), the actor is gearing up for his big screen release, Heropanti 2.

In the Tiger Shroff-starrer film, Nawazuddin plays the role of the main antagonist, Laila. Interestingly, both the actors have reunited on the big screen after their 2017 release, Munna Michael.

During an in-person exclusive interaction with OTTplay, Nawazuddin spoke at length about Tiger's growth as an actor and his character, Laila's similarities to that of his role in Kick. The Gangs of Wasseypur actor also revealed how he switches off from the intense characters he has been playing over the years.

Edited excerpts below:

You know, you recently said that fans don't like it much when you do commercial movies like this one either. So when you are offered these roles, does it surprise you?

I think it's the belief of the makers that they see so many personalities in a single person. Someone saw me as Balasaheb Thackeray (Thackeray), or someone else saw Saadat Hasan Manto (Manto) in me, or Ganesh Gaitonde (Sacred Games), or Inspector Jatil Yadav (Raat Akeli Hai), or even Laila (Heropanti 2). So, see, I am just one person, but they always see me in different ways. There's nothing as beautiful as this for an actor. I'm not repeating myself. Day-by-day or film-by-film, I'm experimenting with myself. It will always be a huge opportunity for me as an actor.

What was it about Heropanti 2 that made you say yes?

As I mentioned, I like to experiment with myself, so when I heard the character's name is Laila, which is usually a female name, is given to a male here. So definitely, there has to be something about it. The character has a feminine touch and is also a magician, so there are a lot of varieties in it. As it's a commercial film, I couldn't do the exercise which I usually do for my artistic films. This film has more performance than acting, as it has more entertainment value. That's one kind of form that is also fun to enact.

Like in theatre, we also experimented a lot. In the Parsi theatres, there used to always be larger-than-life performances. It used to always be one note above, as it had to be performed in front of the live audience until the last row. For the same, the gestures and postures used to always be different. I have done several plays, such as realistic, folk, Shakespearean and more, so this is like a form for me like I used to do in theatres.

You play so many intense roles, so does doing these commercial films come as a breather before you move on to a tough project?

Of course, you feel good. I have done a film called No Land's Men in which I have an intense character, and it's very realistic. So, when I do a character like Laila, it's, of course, a breather and brings some freshness too. It's a fun character that even the audience likes, and I even like to do it. Some films I make for myself, some I make for people from my hometown, like my friends. They like these commercial films, so I kept them in my mind while taking up these roles.

Ever since the release of the trailer, people have been drawing similarities between his character in Heropanti 2 and Kick. What do you have to say about that?

That's because it's Sajid Bhai's (Sajid Nadiadwala) film (laughs). Laila is the villain. I don't know about the similarities, as this one has a feminine touch, which my character in Kick didn't. Here, my character is a magician, while Shiv Gajra's wasn't. I can give you so many points which prove how different both the characters are. Yes, you can say that about the laugh I do like a maniac, which I agree with. But based on that, you can't say Laila is similar to my character from Kick.

You're working with Tiger nearly after five years after Munna Michael. What do you have to say about his growth as an actor?

As an actor, he has grown better. He has become much more at ease now. Of course, no one can match up to him when it comes to action and as a dancer.

You have more than seven movies in your kitty. How do you move on from a project? How do you switch from one character to another?

Frankly speaking, I do find it difficult to switch off from a few characters I play. I am totally into the character until the shoot of the film is completely done. I like to be in that character. There are a few intense characters that have stayed with me even after the shoot has been completed, and I have been having great difficulties getting them out of my system. For that, I go back to my hometown, spend time with friends, and I am good.

Let's just say, Laila's character is from a commercial and massy film, but a few latke jhatke stayed with me even after the shoot. My friends noticed my gestures and asked me, "Bhai, tu thik thak hai na?" It showed in my walk and even in my hand gestures. By the time I moved on to my next project, I came back to being myself.

Heropanti 2 is your theatrical release after nearly two years. How does it feel to see that people are rushing to watch movies on the big screen again after a long time?

It feels good. We are hoping that more and more people go to the theatres to watch movies. It's an Eid release, and as I said, it's a very entertaining film. It has everything: action, dance, songs, magic, everything, and people, especially kids, will love all the elements in the film.

Directed by Ahmed Khan, Heropanti 2 features Tara Sutaria as the female lead. The film is slated to release on April 29.