Congratulations, Nawaz you do us proud as always?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Thank you, Sir. I still remember how much you encouraged and supported me when I was a struggler.
I first noticed you in a cameo in Kabir Khan’s New York. You were so convincing in your monologue as a suspected terrorist that I thought it was live footage?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: I remember that vividly. Woh ek sunehra pal ttha(that was a golden moment). A lot has changed since that cameo. Now I am in a position to pick and choose. For the first ten years of my career I took anything that came my way. Just being in front of the camera was enough for me.
Did you go through a lot of humiliating rejections and snubs?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Sir, dhakke toh sab outsiders ko khane padte hai(every outsider gets pushed around in the beginning). If you are from the film industry you don’t only get your first chance on a platter you also get chances over and over again until you succeed.
But those who don’t deserve success don’t get it no matter how many chances they get. Which is why you are here, Armaan Kohli is not?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Baat toh sahi hai. Given a second chance, I’d still go through the same struggle. It made me a better actor, if not a better human being.
And now look where you are today, on the threshold of an Emmy?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Sir I am proud to be nominated alongside such fantastic actors as David Tennant and Christian Tapian. Itna hi kafi hai ke main yahan tak pahuch gaya hoon(it’s enough for me that I’v reached this far).
Wouldn’t you like to win the Emmy?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: It would be nice to win. But I am not holding my breath for it. For me winning or losing is not important. Recognition of any kind is important for me. Recently I won the Filmfare Middle East award in Dubai. It meant a lot for me.
But an Emmy is an Emmy?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Bilkul , Sir. If I win it,nothing like it. But I’d like to point out that I am no stranger to international recognition. I was in Cannes with Geetu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice , Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav and Nandita Das’ Manto. Manto was the 9th film of mine that I was in Cannes with.
You have also been compared with the Italian legend Marcello Mastroianni in the international press?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Yes. In 2018 Hollywood Reporter called me the Indian Marcello Mastroianni. I couldn’t sleep for days. Marcello Mastroianni is one of my favourite actors. But then so is Dilip Kumar. I’d be just as happy to be compared with him.