Nawazuddin Siddiqui ‘Stayed’ With Transgender People for Haddi, Says ‘I Was in an Environment…’

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui might have been absent from the screen for a while now – with Heropanti 2 being the only exception – but the next few months look rather interesting for him. He has an impressive line-up of projects including Adbhut, Tiku Weds Sheru, Noorani Chehra, Jogira Sara Ra Ra, Afwaah and Laxman Lopez, among a few others.

His upcoming filmography also includes Haddi, a noir revenge drama. A couple of his looks from the film were recently released, which left the audience impressed and intrigued. While in one picture, he is seen draped in a green saree, the other poster sees him in a sequined silver gown. For the unversed, Haddi will see Nawazuddin playing a double role, that of a woman and a trans-person.

In an exclusive chat with News18, he says that playing a transgendered person and spending time with many members from the community during the film shoot ‘opened up a whole new world’ for him. He shares, “I’m working with a lot of trans-people in Haddi. I was in an environment with 20-25 of them. Their way of looking at the world is completely different. That was really interesting. I learned so much about their journeys.”

Nawazuddin reveals that the challenge was to not create a caricature out of them but make them look believable. He elaborates, “I don’t want my character to look like a caricature. I want to feel the character in my bones rather than just enact the part. And that is why I decided to stay with them (trans-people). I’m looking forward to seeing how it shapes up eventually.”

But the 48-year-old is quick to add that his character in Haddi is far removed from the one he played in Heropanti 2 and adds that unlike the popular perception, his portrayal of Laila Saran in the actioner wasn’t a trans-person. He states, “In Heropanti 2, I played a man with feminine qualities. There is a difference between that person and someone from the transgender community.”

Nawazuddin is also all set to join the league of actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Irrfan as he will soon be making his Hollywood debut. Titled Laxman Lopez, the film will see him play a chef. He tells us that the shoot of the film, which was supposed to kick-start in November in the USA, has now been shifted to January next year.

Shedding some light on the film, he says, “The shoot will go on for two months. So, I will be back in March. My character is called Laxman and he goes to Mexico and falls in love with a Mexican girl. Both of them spend some time together after which the girl passes away. In her memory, he makes a recipe which becomes very famous in the country.”

A while back, director and Nawazuddin’s wife Aaliya Siddiqui revealed that she will be collaborating with him on a biopic on folk singer Teejan Bai. Ask him about it and he says, “I don’t have any knowledge about the project and there is nothing official about it.” He adds, “But it’s an interesting topic. Teejan Bai has been a legendary singer and I’ve attended her shows in Delhi. She’s an amazing talent. If the script works out well, I would like to associate myself with it.”

Having been a part of popular web shows like Sacred Games and McMafia, Nawazuddin has decided to not be a part of any other web series as he believes that their quality has watered down. Has he been offered such shows even after he went on record and said that he doesn’t want to do them anymore? “Yes! They keep coming in and will always do. But it’s not difficult for me to say no to them. I’m very busy with my films and that’s going to take up the next one-and-half-year of my time,” he says.

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