Recalling his days of struggle Nawazuddin Siddiqui says, “There were many incidents when I did small roles and then the role was edited out. But the one incident that stays with me involves one of my idols Kamal Haasan. I was his Hindi dialogue coach on his film Hey Ram (2000) which he directed and also played the lead. When Kamalji offered me a small role in Hey Ram I was as excited as a child. He is one of my idols alongside Dilip Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah, Anthony Hopkins and Denzel Washington. I’ve seen each and every film of theirs repeatedly.”
The supposedly small role that Kamalji offered Nawaz turned out to be not so small. “It was actually a substantial role. I was supposed to be this victim of a mob attack whom Kamalji rescues. I was excited about this opportunity to share screen space with my idol.”
When the role was deleted Nawaz was heartbroken. “I wept bitterly. I remember Kamalji’s daughter Shruti consoling me. Though Kamalji cut my role there was no ill will whatsoever in my heart. How could I be resentful? Kamalji is such a complete artiste with his knowledge stretching far beyond. Unka toh mujhe naam bhil lene mein hichkichaahat hoti hai (I hesitate to even say his name).”
Nawaz was back with Kamal Haasan in the latter’s Abhay (Aalavandhan in Tamil). “This time I was only his Hindi voice coach. No role was offered to me. I wait for the day when Kamalji offers me another role.”
More Pages: Aalavandhan Box Office Collection
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