Raman Raghav 2.0
Raman Raghav 2.0PR handout

Appearing in movies in supporting roles to bagging lead roles in films, the journey of Nawazuddin Siddiqui as an actor in Bollywood was long, but quite interesting. Be it a comic character or a serious role, Nawazuddin never disappoints critics and audiences with his performances. And the latest noteworthy performance of the actor was in the movie "Raman Raghav 2.0," in which he plays the role of a serial killer.

In an exclusive telephonic interview with International Business Times India, Nawazuddin spoke about his role in "Raman Raghav 2.0" and his long association with the director Anurag Kashyap.

Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:

International Business Times India: Why Raman Raghav and what excited you to take this film?

Nawazuddin: The film has everything and since it's by Anurag Kashyap I couldn't say no to him. I have worked with Anurag in several films, but still, I want to work with him again and again.

IBT: What research did you do before shooting for "Raman Raghav?

Nawazuddin: Anurag has helped me a lot, but apart from that, I watched several YouTube videos of psychopath killers and studied about them, read about them on the internet, which helped me a lot about knowing my character. In addition, before starting the film, I went out for two days, just to spend some alone time to think about the character. This helped me a lot in preparing for the role and Anurag helped a lot, which eased my work, even though it was a difficult role to play. Raman Raghav was not a normal persona and to believe his thought was a bit distributing for me.

IBT: So you knew about serial killer Raman Raghav or you came to know about him when Anurag offered the film?

Nawazuddin: I knew about Raman Raghav way before I got the movie offer. In fact, the script was handed over to me five to six years back, but that time we were working on "Gangs of Wasseyepur" and later we got busy with some other work. So now, we came together to shoot for the film.

IBT: What was the most difficult part of the film?

Nawazuddin: The portrayal of Raman Raghav was itself difficult for me. But the starting scene, the monologue which is of 10 minutes, was the most difficult part the film. For that 10-minute monologue, I had to speak for more than 400 minutes, which exhausted me completely. After shooting for the monologue I was not able to speak. The monologue was shot on the first day of the shoot, which was very difficult.

IBT: You first worked with Anurag Kashyap in 2007 (Black Friday). What changes have you seen in him?

Nawazuddin: As a director, there has been a tremendous improvement. He has seen the world cinema and his thinking is different from other filmmakers, so with every film, there is a growth as a director. Whenever I work with him, I feel that he has improved and learnt something new as a director.

IBT: Nawazuddin Siddiqui is now a big name in the film industry; how do you deal with the stardom?

Nawazuddin: I don't believe in stardom. I like to work and there is a process in filmmaking where the performance matters a lot and as an actor, it is the most interesting part. I try to keep myself connected to the performances, rather than focusing on stardom.

IBT: You have said that you are a rejected actor; so how does it feel now that big filmmakers and actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and others want to work with you?

Nawazuddin: I feel good because Amitabh ji, Shah Rukh and Salman are really big stars and who wouldn't like working with them. The best part is even after so many years, all these big stars have maintained their position in the film industry. Bachchan saab is an institution in himself, you get to learn a lot from him. I have learned a lot from him during the shooting of "Te3n." You can learn from his dedication and passion.

IBT: Nowadays, method actors are getting lead roles in Bollywood, what is your opinion about that?

Nawazuddin: Things have changed and now I have been signed as the main lead in 4-5 movies. So, time has changed and it has changed for good.

IBT: You said Indian cinema has changed. Can you tell us in what way and what other changes you would like to see?

Nawazuddin: Changes are definitely there, actors like me are getting lead roles. Different types of movies are being made. Movies based on good topics and role-oriented movies are being made, which never was the case back then. More changes will come when director-producers will make a movie of big budgets like Rs. 40 – 50 crore featuring me.

IBT: Two-three years back you said that you did not watch commercial films...now that you yourself are a part of commercial cinema, have you started watching it too?

Nawazuddin: I watch commercial films, but not regularly. I like to watch world cinema a lot. See for me the movie which works at the box office is a commercial cinema, like "Gangs of Wasseypur." So I don't believe much in art films, if a movie works at the box office then it is a good movie.

IBT: Censor board is in controversy for not certifying films. After "Udta Punjab," the censor board has refused to give a certificate to your next "Haramkhor;" what do you have to say about that?

Nawazuddin: I don't know why they refused to certificate because the story is based on the real-life incidents that happen in the society. The producers of the film see what to do next. They know the technicality of the film, so they will take the right decision.

IBT: What is the status of your film "Babumoshai bandookbaaz"?

Nawazuddin: Chitrangada Singh was supposed to be the lead actress, but as of now I just know only one detail that my heroine left the film half way and if we don't get a lead actress then I think we will have to ask a male actor to play the role.

IBT: So which actor you would like to cast opposite you?

Nawazuddin: Let's see. A handsome actor who can get into the character of the lead actress.

IBT: Any dream actor/director on your wishlist you would want to work with

Nawazuddin: I don't have such wishlist. If good scripts come then I take up that project.