Nawazuddin Siddiqui ([nəˈwaːzʊdːiːn sɪdːiːqi:]; born 19 May 1974) is an Indian actor known for his work in Hindi cinema. He is an alumnus of the National School of Drama. Siddiqui's feature film debut was alongside director Prashant Bhargava in Patang (2012), and his performance was appreciated by cinema critic Roger Ebert. He also gained international recognition for his work with director Anurag Kashyap in Black Friday (2007), the Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) duology, and Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016).
|Born||19 May 1974|
|Alma mater||National School of Drama, Gurukula Kangri Vishwavidyalaya|
Anjana Kishor Pandey
(m. 2009; div. 2020)
Siddiqui is best known for his roles in The Lunchbox (2013), Manto (2018), and Raman Raghav 2.0. He is the only actor in the world to have 8 films officially selected and screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Siddiqui was born on 19 May 1974 in Budhana, a small town in Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India, into a zamindari Muslim family of Lambardars. He is the eldest of eight siblings. He spent most of his youth in Uttarakhand.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar. Following this, he worked as a chemist in Vadodara for a year, before leaving for Delhi in search of a new job. Once in Delhi, he was instantly drawn to acting after watching a play. In pursuit of securing admission to the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi, he acted in over ten plays with a group of friends, including one in Dehradun, to fulfill one of the criteria for admission.
He made his Bollywood debut in the year 1999 with a small role in the Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh.[verification needed] He then appeared in Ram Gopal Varma's 1999 film Shool and the 2000 film Jungle, as well as Rajkumar Hirani's Munnabhai MBBS (2003). After moving to Mumbai, he tried to get work in television serials, but did not achieve much success. He did a short film, The Bypass, in 2003, where he appeared with Irrfan Khan. Beyond that, between 2002 and 2005, he was largely out of work and lived in a flat that he shared with four other people, surviving by conducting occasional acting workshops. In 2004, which was one of the worst years of his struggle, Siddiqui couldn't pay rent. He asked an NSD senior if he could stay with him. The senior allowed him to share his apartment in Goregaon suburb if he was willing to cook meals for him.
Between 2004 and 2007, Siddiqui had a few minor roles, including in the film Black Friday, which came out in 2007 and was a nominee for the Golden Leopard. In 2009, he appeared in a cameo role in the song "Emotional Atyachar" in the movie Dev D, playing the role of Rangila. He performed a duet with Rasila (known together as Patna ke Presley). In the same year, he appeared in New York. However, it was his role of a journalist in Anusha Rizvi's 2010 film Peepli Live, that first got him wide recognition as an actor. In 2012, he appeared in Prashant Bhargava's Patang: The Kite, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival. Siddiqui's performance was praised by film critic Roger Ebert, who stated that the role "transformed his acting style" and he awarded the actor the 'Thumbsup Trophy'. The film was subsequently released in the U.S. and Canada, and garnered much attention with rave reviews from The New York Times.
Siddiqui then appeared in the 2012 film Kahaani, in which he played the archetypal short-tempered intelligence officer Khan. Anurag Kashyap's gangster epic Gangs of Wasseypur followed, which furthered the actor's fame. He played his first primary role as Sonu Duggal in Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely, which premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, a role Siddiqui describes as his "most real performance so far". Siddiqui then followed this with the sequel to Gangs of Wasseypur. In 2013, he played the lead role in the horror flick Aatma. The Lunchbox premiered as part of the International Critics' Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and won him multiple awards. He appeared in Aamir Khan's 2012 release Talash. In 2014, he played the lead antagonist Shiv Gajra in the blockbuster Kick.
In 2015, Siddiqui's films Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Manjhi – The Mountain Man were released, and he was praised for his roles. He received the Special Jury Award at the 2012 National Film Awards and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2013. His work in Raman Raghav 2.0 in 2016 won him the Fancine Malaga Award in Spain and in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, both in the category of Best Actor. The 2018 film Manto was a groundbreaking performance that won him Best Actor at the 2018 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Siddiqui lives in Mumbai with his younger brother, Shamas Nawab Siddiqui who is a director. Siddiqui was married to Aaliya, aka Anjana Kishor Pandey; they have a daughter, Shora, and a son, Yaani, who was born on the actor's 41st birthday. On 19 May 2020, Aaliya revealed in an interview with The Indian Express that she was seeking a divorce from Siddiqui.
Apart from his acting work, Siddiqui continues to take time to farm in Budhana, his hometown in Uttar Pradesh. His goal is to educate farmers about new techniques available and how they can help improve their lives. He has also implemented new irrigation techniques in Budhana, which has proven to be a significant help to the local farmers. As of May 2021, he spends a large part of his time in Budhana, when he is not shooting for upcoming projects.
Siddiqui's first lead role in a feature film was in Prashant Bhargava's Patang, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, in which his performance has been praised by noted film critic Roger Ebert (awarding the film 4/4 stars), who stated that the role "transformed his acting style".
Film festival awards
|2012||New York Indian Film Festival||Dekh Indian Circus||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||Asia Pacific Film Festival||The Lunchbox||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|2014||Chicago South Asian Film Festival||—||Outstanding Achievement in Cinema||Won|||
|2017||New York Indian Film Festival||Haraamkhor||Best Actor||Won|||
|2019||Asian Film Talent Award (SIFF)||Sacred Games||Lesley Ho Asian Film Talent||Won|||
|Cardiff International Film festival||—||Golden Dragon Award for Excellence in Cinema||Won|||
|2012||GQ Men of the Year Awards||—||Breakthrough Personality of the Year||Won|||
|2013||Stardust Awards||Kahaani||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|2018||GQ Men of the Year Awards||Manto||Actor of the Year||Won|
|Indian Television Academy Awards||Sacred Games||Best Actor – Web Series||Nominated|
|iReel Awards||Best Actor (Drama)||Won|||
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