Anurag Kashyap says he will only stop working with frequent collaborator Nawazuddin Siddiqui when they will not have anything new to offer to the audience. Siddiqui has featured in Kashyap’s Black Friday and Dev D but it was the Gangs of Wasseypur series, headlined by the actor, which brought him the long overdue recognition.
The duo have also worked on Raman Raghav 2.0 and now Kashyap has shot portions featuring Siddiqui for the latest Netflix original Sacred Games.
In an interview with PTI, Kashyap says much of his process is “discovering something new” and if he is uncomfortable, he will not resort to repetition – neither of himself nor his favourite actor. “When Nawaz and I get bored of the collaboration, we will divorce each other. We already know what we have done together so we won’t repeat. If I have something new, I will go to Nawaz, otherwise I won’t,” he adds.
As a director, Kashyap says his aim is not to typecast Siddiqui and the actor “implicitly” trusts his vision. “If I am not adding anything new to Nawaz, then what’s the point? The whole industry takes one person and casts them the same way in every film. They take one hit music director and make him do the same thing for the rest of his life. They do the same with actors and I get very bored with that,” he says.
Citing an example, the acclaimed director adds he will never go for the obvious, such as casting Radhika Apte in a role of a Maharashtrian. “As I believe, I must to do something new, interesting,” he adds. Set in modern-day Mumbai, Sacred Games revolves around a policeman and a criminal overlord.
Saif Ali Khan plays Sartaj Singh, a troubled but honest Bombay Police cop, who gets an anonymous tip from the powerful criminal overlord, Ganesh Gaitonde (Siddiqui) that Mumbai as they know it is in peril.
As the stakes mount, Sartaj and Gaitonde realise that they are a part of a much larger scenario, which expands beyond the city. The series has been directed by Anurag — who helms portions of Siddiqui and Vikramaditya Motwane, who shot with Saif. The directors took 50 and 65 days respectively to shoot their portions.
“Vikram and my professional, creative marriage is very good. He is the showrunner, he decided what chunks he will do and what I will do. So my responsibility was only that. As a showrunner, his responsibility was bigger,” Kashyap says on co-directing the series.