Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of the best actors working in the industry today. His recent landslide of hit performances has completely changed the way we look at character development.
However, this success has come after years of failures and setbacks. Setbacks that have heavy undertones of bigotry. Bigotry that ignores talent and focuses on skin color.
Most people don’t say this out loud. But recently a casting director by the name of Sanjay Chouhan blasted the secrecy away when he openly admitted that co-actors cast with Nawazuddin have to be dark-skinned.
The actor took this opportunity to reveal his own issues with this practice. “Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with the fair and handsome because I’m dark and not good looking.”
This tweet obviously went viral and received all sorts of replies from the internet. Eventually the whole thing circled back to the actor, who was asked his views about the views that he shared on the tweet.
The actor said, “I was reacting to what I read about this gentleman’s statement on the kind of actors I need to be cast with. I found the statement very strange. Did filmmakers actually consider the colour of my co-stars’ skin before casting them with me? Yeh ladki gori hai yeh nahin chalegi…yeh ladka saawla hai isskobanao Nawaz ka dost… Is that how actors are cast in our films? I thought actors were chosen for suitability and merit….Anyway, this gentleman says he was misquoted.”
“But the fact is, I have faced prejudices all my life because of my dark complexion, because of my humble background and because I come from a small village. Prejudice is embedded deep in our minds. All of us are prejudiced. It begins at home where the mother says, ‘Beta gori bahu le aao tab bachche kale nahin honge.’ As if my criteria for choosing a life partner must be the colour of her skin.”
“I am not saying there is more prejudice in the film industry. It exists in every profession, every walk of life. In cinema. I don’t think I’ve been rejected for being dark-skinned. Nor has any heroine refused to work with me for the way I look. But yes, you can’t deny that leading men are supposed to look a particular way. Hero ka matlab hota hai gora-chitta.”
“There is a lot of curiosity to see the children from film families. And invariably the question of how fair-skinned he or she is, comes up. Someone like me with no connection in the industry has to prove myself. Because I’ve no background in cinema and I don’t look like a film actor. Yeh kya karega? That’s how I was initially welcomed.”
“We wait for our artistes to be endorsed in the West before celebrating their talent. When I was in New York I went to Broadway to watch the rehearsal for a play. I was introduced to an actor as the best actor in the world. To them in America everything they have is the best. We have far less confidence in our talent.”
“Look at Tiger Shroff. See how hard he works. I got a chance to watch him dance in Munna Michael. Believe me, he is miraculous. Though he is the son of a star like Jackie Shroff he never tried to use that as a calling card in the industry. In fact I think he worked towards being a fantastic dancer as that was one area where his father was not skilled.”
“I am very nervous. I want to know what people think about my dancing. Because I’ve always had a mental block about dancing. Dancing on screen was challenge for me as an actor. I hope I’ve pulled it off.”
This is quite a revelation from Nawazuddin. What do you think of this whole issue? Tell us in the comments.