Nawazuddin Siddiqui' s latest outing Thackeray featured him as late Bal Thackeray, a cartoonist in his earliest days, later the founder of Shiv Sena and a political leader whose legacy you can't ignore. Plenty of people called it a propaganda film, but Thackeray is having a steady run at the box office nevertheless. While he is happy with his film's performance, Nawazuddin Siddiqui can't probably get over how box office numbers are often made synonymous to an actor's mettle.
"Since it's perceived you're an actor only when you give hit films, I feel I should start doing films where there's comedy with a 'tadka' of content. I can do the films I believe in and also this kind of cinema once in a while," he told PTI in an interview. Coming from an actor who has indulged in content-oriented cinema almost all his career, this is quite a statement. "I don't care about the box office. If I did, I would've done song and dance films throughout my career, the ones which go on to become hits. But today it is being perceived that you're a good actor only if you give a 100-crore hit," he said. Is anyone reading between the lines here?
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While he is one of the most critically acclaimed actors in Indian cinema right now, appreciation and business do not always go hand-in-hand for Nawaz's films. A Raman Raghav 2.0 or a Manjhi - The Mountain Man, for example, featured a great performance from the actor but weren't great hits. So far, the two of his films that have done major business, i.e. Salman Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Shah Rukh Khan's Raees, featured him in character roles. Nawaz, as a solo lead, is yet to enter the 100-crore club. This, in no way, lessens his credibility as an actor though. But one can't say if the constant post mortem with box office numbers hurts him!
"I wasn't worried about the box office on Friday but I was slightly nervous because unlike what we call 'content-driven films' which too now have five songs, this wasn't the one. So I was nervous how the film would be received. I also wondered whether our liberal audience would like it," the actor said, referring to Thackeray's release.
His apparent dig at songs in content-driven films also reminds us about how in Tiger Shroff's Munna Michael, he took to dancing for the very first time, amusing everyone! The pressure of commercially doing well indeed influences an actor's selections at times, doesn't it?