Nawazuddin Siddiqui is not new to Cannes. After all, he has been there and done that last year as well. Full of enthusiasm of a first-timer, speaking from Cannes, the actor can’t contain his excitement at having three of his films getting screened at the French Riviera this year. “To be up there with the world’s best is a high in itself,” says the actor, who swears by his new black suit that he packed for the event. An excerpt:
Tell us about your Cannes experience this year?
Very good. Three of my films, Bombay Talkies, Monsoon Shootout and The Lunchbox are being showcased here. What more can an actor ask for? The Lunchbox has won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award and Monsoon Shootout also got a good reception. It means a lot for the entire team.
You brought in your 39th birthday at Cannes. How did you party?
Till date, I have never had a birthday party. The midnight screening of my film Monsoon Shootout took place at the Grand Lumiere hall, Palais Cannes on May 18 and we left the hall post 12 am. Around 1 am, a lady came up to me and requested for a photograph. We clicked a picture together and she told me that it was her birthday today (May 19). I wished her saying that co-incidentally it was my birthday too. My film’s team and others around heard it and then sang Happy Birthday right there. It was a very nice feeling.
Did you spend time deciding on your wardrobe for the event?
I directly rushed to Cannes from Kolkata where I was busy shooting for Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s upcoming film. I did not find any time to pay much attention to my clothes. My black suit saved the day as it suits most occasions. In any case, it was a new one and I just packed it for Cannes so my problem was solved. I take five minutes to get ready, a bath included. However, Tannishtha (Chatterjee) and Nimrat (Kaur) do take a lot of time. Even if you gave them four hours to get dressed, they would find it not enough. (Laughs out loud)
You also sported a conspicuous moustache...
(Laughs) It was not a conscious decision on my part to sport a moustache. It is a part of my look in Buddhadeb’s film. I resume shooting immediately after getting back to India. It would have taken a week for me to re-grow it if I had shaved it off. I did not wish to waste time and hence went with it.
Which actress did you think looked the best on the red carpet?
I found Nicole Kidman hot. I have always found her beautiful and seeing her from close quarters was quite special.
Which was your best experience on the red carpet?
It had to be the one for Amit Kumar’s film. It was raining when we walked the red carpet and it fitted perfectly with the theme and mood of the film. We could not have asked for more.
How was Indian cinema received this year?
People really rolled out the red carpet for Indian filmmakers and actors. The international media is slowly recognising the fact that we are making different films from the usual masala fare. People gave a lot of compliments to Bombay Talkies, which was quite heart-warming.