The shy actor from Budhana near Muzzafarnagar, who grew up only seeing films on special occasions like Eid and Diwali, opens up to CS about the year gone by, fame and stardom.
When Lady Luck smiled…
I will cherish 2012 for the rest of my life. An actor craves for recognition, and that’s what this year has given me. I will be contented even if I don’t have another 2012 in my life. To be honest, I didn’t have great hopes from any of my films this year. I had been struggling from a really long time, and many of my films didn’t even get released. In fact, I had started considering myself as jinxed. Yeh saal, saare grahan hatt gaye (smiles).
Shining like a star
My first brush with fame was after Kahaani. At airports, people used to recognise me as Khan, my character in the film. The response was particularly good in West Bengal. Once I was travelling and wore a muffler that partially hid my face. So, when a man walked upto me asking if I was Khan/Nawazuddin, I was totally shocked. The person told me that he identified my eyes. I was also surprised to know that women like me. I never had girls running after me in my younger days. I guess I didn’t have anything to attract a woman. Now, when women come to me and shower their affection, it feels kind of nice (bursts out laughing).
No one from my village believed that I could be an actor. But they have seen Gangs of Wasseypur and Talaash. Recently, I was travelling from my village to Dehradun, which is around 150 kms. Everywhere people welcomed me warmly. I was totally overwhelmed. But stardom doesn’t excite me. I haven’t made any changes in my lifestyle. I want to stay connected to my roots. My set of friends are the same as my previous days. In fact, after working incessantly for the past three years, I now want some quiet time to sit down and introspect.
I can’t guarantee stardom or success. Whatever I have achieved is due to the support of my friends and directors. Fame is fickle. The only thing I can do is work hard and attempt to do justice to my roles. My aim is only to excel as an actor.