Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says the reason for him being convincing in gangster roles is that he looks at the characters through a human lens. Siddiqui shot to fame with his portrayal of local goon Faizal Khan in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur.
The actor says he has played a gangster four times in his career — in Munna Michael, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, among others — and has never treated the roles similarly.
“I have never done a gangster role thinking of it as one. I think it is the role of a man and that’s it. He could be bad or good. Sometimes the flawed personality of a person is highlighted more. I have never treated my characters as gangsters. I look at them as humans,” Siddiqui told PTI.
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The 44-year-old actor will be seen again as a criminal overlord in Sacred Games, a Netflix Original web series. “This role is different because others didn’t have as much depth as this one. Faizal Khan (from ‘Gangs of…’) of course had depth, you know certain aspects about him after watching the film but here, you go deep into his psychic. We have tried to do that, to take you along his journey,” the actor says.
Set in modern-day Mumbai, the series revolves around Sartaj Singh, a seasoned and cynical police officer, played by Saif Ali Khan, who is summoned by an anonymous tip that promises him an opportunity to capture the powerful criminal overlord Ganesh Gaitonde, enacted by Siddiqui.
As the stakes mount, Sartaj and Gaitonde realise that they are part of a much larger scenario, which expands beyond the city. Sacred Games has been directed by Anurag Kashyap, who helms portions of Siddiqui, and Vikramaditya Motwane has shot with Khan. For Siddiqui, teaming up again with Kashyap was one of the reasons to come on board the project, apart from the opportunity that a web series gives an actor.
“A web series gives you a long time to explore a character, unlike in films where you have only two hours. Even if you look at the three principle characters, they are very detailed because one has time. As an actor you can dive deep in such a scenario.
“My vision was to explore this, see where it goes. I had seen a couple of Netflix shows so I knew what to expect. This one was right up to that standard, I had no reason to say no,” he says.
The series, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Vikram Chandra, will be available to Netflix subscribers in all territories from July 6.