Nawazuddin Siddiqui arrived on OTT even before it was a rage in India. And while everyone was hooked to web series, he entertained fans with two strikingly different roles in OTT films. Outspoken, frank and in a thoughtful mood, Nawazuddin Siddiqui perfectly summed up 2020 in an exclusive tête-à-tête with ETimes. Excerpts from the chat:

How different is the experience of working during Covid times?
It was a bit difficult because the thing is that before lockdown you were free, but
ab woh wali baat nahi. Everyone else wears a mask but an actor cannot wear a mask, has to touch the props on the sets and all of this affects one’s performance. You have to be a bit careful and that reflects in the performance. I hope that things become better soon.

How would you describe 2020 as a year?
2020 should not be counted as a year all, it should be completely deducted. As an actor, because my films released on OTT and got a good response, hence the year was good.


What kept you occupied this year, cooking, reading, movies?

What I did most during lockdown was to watch movies. Since 8-9 years I have been planning to take a few months off and watch movies of my favourite actors. With lockdown I got a lot of time in hand and I watched nearly 150-200 movies. According to me, I had nicely designed my lockdown time so as to watch movies of actors like Anthony Hopkins, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis to name a few. I also watched a few European, Asian movies.

What did you miss the most in 2020?
As actors most of our life is spent on the sets, shooting, so this year I missed the people, their warmth and energy of the sets. We are used to saying amidst people, so I missed everyone a lot. I understood the value of people, friends and family. I also dearly missed the environment of the sets. We are people-loving and don’t like staying alone at home.

Social media emerged as a tool of connectivity in lockdown, how do you see it as a platform?

Apart from the negativity there are a lot of good people on social media, who spread positivity. I connect with those people who reflect positive vibes. With the pandemic people are sitting at home, there is angst, people are angry but despite all this, those people who are supporting everyone on social media – those are the real heroes for me. Sitting in any part of the world, those who are increasing positivity are the real heroes.

At any point did you feel any anxiety during the pandemic?
Even if you feel any such anxiety or depression, if the atmosphere around you is positive, then you will eventually feel better. It is our responsibility that through our statements we don’t spread negativity. If there is a good atmosphere around then one can easily overcome the tough times. But if that is not the case then anyone can slip into depression or be frustrated. Those people who have worked towards positivity, I am sure they will have inspired people to shun the negativity.

Any lesson learnt from 2020?
I have learnt that one must never complain in life. Be positive despite whatever is happening around you, this is very important.
Waqt aata hai, khatam hone ke liye. So, I hope that we don’t have to face anything like this in the future, but we must also learn our lessons from the present time.

Your resolution for 2021?
Thanks to 2020, I have decided not to run behind materialistic things in 2021. This year has taught us that materialistic things are of no use. Life is important, so it is better to respect each day that you live and keep the environment happy. One can live a happy life in very few things also.


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By vinayak