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How Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Showbiz Journey Brings Out The Struggles Of Every Outsider  

Screenbox helps you understand Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s struggles as an outsider and the valuable lessons we all can learn from his journey in the showbiz industry.





A still of Nawazuddin.
Nawazuddin in a still of his film.

IN his acting career that has spanned over two decades, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has had his share of ups and downs. For someone who had a modest upbringing in a village in Uttar Pradesh – which helped him understand how hard life can be – the road to success in the world of glitz and glamour was undoubtedly tough. There were phases when the lack of uncertainty and fear loomed large, and the very thought of attaining stardom in the showbiz industry – sans a godfather – appeared unimaginable. But not once did the grind stop and never did the star fail in turning his dream into reality.

Screenbox helps you understand Nawazuddin’s struggles as an outsider and the valuable lessons we all can learn from his journey in the showbiz industry.

Neither Reveal Nor Give Up On Your Dreams

When Nawazuddin decided to take up acting as a profession, the actor made sure he kept the big dream to himself. Reason? Everybody he shared his dream with, would poke fun at him and judge him for his appearance. After leaving National School Of Drama in 1996, the actor first appeared on the screen for the first time in 1999’s Sarfarosh that too in one sequence. For the next decade, he was offered similar roles until Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur made the filmmakers understand his acting potential.

A still of Nawazuddin from Gangs Of Wasseypur

Even though he faced rejections for not ‘looking’ like a movie star, he has been successful in delivering several unforgettable performances. As a thug, as a convict or as an IB officer, Nawazuddin has invariably proved how his acting prowess has achieved legendary proportions.

Thanks to all the detractors who mocked Nawazuddin and his dream, because that made the actor persevere and ensure that he didn’t do disservice to himself by letting his dream wane just because some people laughed at him.

Treat Struggle As A Part Of Success

Before Nawazuddin got his break on the silver screen, moved on to bigger roles and started accepting awards, he was just another struggler looking for a quick buck. The star not only sold corianders, but also worked as a watchman to pay for rent and utilities. From living in a flat with four people to borrowing money to make ends meet, he has seen everything.

Nawazuddin In A Still From Raat Akeli Hai

In one of his interviews, Nawazuddin had mentioned how he stayed with a senior because he didn’t have work. Nawazuddin’s senior let him stay on the condition that he would cook for him. He did that too. However, he decided to leave the house on realising that he ended up becoming a cook when his aim was to work as an actor. But every hardship and struggle that life brought was an opportunity to learn, and grow stronger.

For Nawazuddin, facing challenges and surviving every struggle was the way towards success. Even though it was tough for Nawazuddin to enter Bollywood, he managed to get small roles and proved everyone that his rise to fame was well deserved.  

Winners Never Quit

“Never quit.” This may have been one of the most cliché phrases you must have heard while building your career, but for Nawazuddin, this is was the motto of his life. He may be a household name today, but he didn’t become one easily.

Nawazuddin In A Still From The Lunchbox

Lauded for striking a balance between parallel and commercial films, Nawazuddin, with no movie star looks, knew he could pull crowds to the theatre with his flawless and relatable performances in Gangs of Wasseypur, Miss Lovely, Thackeray, Peepli Live, The Lunchbox, Manjhi: The Mountain Man, Kahaani, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Badlapur, Manto, Raman Raghav 2.0, Afwaah, and many more. With every unsual and unconventional role he has played on the big screen, Nawazuddin has surprised the viewers and delieverd a hit. So while it is understandable for some viewers to pigeon-hole him as an actor, he is clear about doing roles that’ll help him prove them wrong. 

Don’t Rest On Past Laurels

While it is always great to learn from the past, it is crucial to not dwell there. Since Nawazuddin understood how past success would never bring future success, he was able to distance himself from films that worked at the Box Office, characters he essayed and accomplishments he experienced in the past.

If he isn’t comfortable or complacent as an actor that’s because he neither rests on past laurels nor on the strategies that worked for him in the past.

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