After warring openly with Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays the inimitable Balasheb Thackeray in the bio-pic on his life, has now taken on Anupam Kher….
Or ,so it seems.
In an interview to a Hindi news-portal Nawaz has opined that any actor who mimics a real-life person and worse, imitates a real life person’s voice, is not fit to be called an actor and that the biopic is a curse for such an actor.
While Nawaz did not name any actor the reference to mimicking the physical traits of the real-life personality including his voice ,does seem to point to Anupam Kher whose portrayal of former prime minister Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister came in for considerable flak when critics found it to be a mimicking performance.
While Anupam who is currently in New York chose not to react a source close to the actor says, “Anupam is used to actors taking swipes at him. From Naseeruddin Shah to Nawazuddin Siddiqui , they all derive some kind of a thrill in commenting negatively on Anupam. But he doesn’t react to them. Because he knows these comments come from a place of envy.”
Interestingly Nawaz had earlier similarly warred with Irrfan Khan. It came out in the open when at an awards function at the beginning of 2014 while thanking his team and co-stars for his performance in The Lunchbox Nawaz didn’t mention Irrfan’s name.
Protesting that much ado was being made out of nothing Nawaz had said, “There was nothing deliberate in this. I didn’t mention a lot of people by name. I just wanted to thank the entire team of The Lunchbox.”
In an interview given to me in 2015 Nawaz defended himself saying, “It just happened that way. There was no intention to ignore him. I’ve nothing against Irrfan. In fact I’ve the highest regard for him as an actor. I don’t know why such an issue is being made about our so-called rivalry. We are both reserved people.We like to keep to ourselves. We may not be the best of friends. But we are certainly not enemies. I guess people like to pitch actors of similar sensibilities together.”
So is this latest jibe at Anupam just a professional comment? Or is there more to it than meets the eye?