Published By: Admin

On This Day (May 19) - Nawazuddin Siddiqui's Birthday: Tracing The Actor's "Rags To Riches" Journey That May Inspire You

Did you know the 'Raees' actor worked as a watchman in Noida before making it big?

"... when there was nothing, it was my willpower and mental strength that kept me going." -  Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawazuddin Siddiqui has neither six-pack abs nor six-feet height. And he needs none of those as it's his eyes that do all the magic on screen. He is anything but conventional. And he is an actor so brilliant, and so versatile, that he can play almost all kinds of characters convincingly, leaving one and all in awe. But what truly sets him apart is he can play the same kind of characters (for example, his gangster roles such as Faisal Khan, Ganesh Gaitonde, and Dilly Mahmood) so distinctly that you won't be able to find similarities between them.

Born on May 19, 1974, Siddiqui is a big star today and enjoys a solid fan base across the world. He resides in a massive bungalow in Mumbai, named Nawab, which is just a reflection of his stature. However, what's also essential to acknowledge is he still prefers to remain grounded and never forgets his roots that shaped him. His journey from rags to riches is an inspiration for everyone who dreams of making it big in life!

"A role must take me in an uncomfortable zone." Nawazuddin Siddiqui

(Credit: nawazuddin._siddiqui)

The celebrated actor completes the half-century of his life today. On this occasion, let's have a look at his phenomenal journey over the years.

A Humble Beginning

Nawazuddin Siddiqui was born and brought up in Budhana, a small town in Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh. He grew up in extreme poverty, yet, the hardships of his life couldn't stop him from dreaming big! He initially aspired to study chemistry and microbiology and become a pathologist. He enrolled at the Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya in Haridwar, and although he was good at his studies, he understood that he wanted something else in life.

Delhi, National School of Drama, And Odd Jobs

After working as a chemist for a year in Vadodara, Siddiqui moved to Delhi and enrolled at the National School of Drama (NSD). There, he not only learned the basics of acting but also got exposure to the bigger world. In his words, "NSD completely changed my acting style and my way of thinking. What was being taught at NSD changed my benchmark to think, reflect, and understand.”

While honing his skills as an actor, he did various odd jobs to sustain himself. From selling corianders to working as a watchman to making toys at a factory and more - he did it all. In his words, "Financially, I wasn't well off. I would borrow money from my friends and would promise them to return in two days. Later, I would borrow from someone else and pay the first person back. Lived in flat with four other people."

After graduating from NSD, he did theatre in Delhi for some time before finally moving to Mumbai to try his luck in cinema.

Struggle, Struggle, And Struggle

Despite his extraordinary talents and skills, Siddiqui had to struggle a lot initially. For years, he just went from one studio to another... only to face rejection. However, being a man of incredible resilience, he became only more determined with each of those rejections.

He didn't have money to pay rent. He lived on just tea and biscuits for months. And yet, he chose to fight and not quit.

Debut And Further Struggle

Finally, in 1999, Siddiqui made his debut in Bollywood with the Aamir Khan-starrer 'Sarfarosh'. He nailed his role completely; however, it was too small a role to get noticed. He went on to appear in numerous small (and unnoticed) roles along the way, in films like 'Shool', 'Jungle', 'Black Friday', and 'Munnabhai MBBS' among others.

Breakthrough And Critical Recognition

He first came to the limelight in 2010 with his role as a journalist in Anusha Rizvi's film 'Peepli Live'.

(Credit: PVR)

Two years later, he starred in Prashant Bhargava's 'Patang: The Kite' which premiered at several prestigious film festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival. And his performance in the film earned widespread critical acclaim as well. That same year, he played the archetypal short-tempered intelligence officer, Khan, in Sujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani', receiving further acclaim.

Gangs Of Wasseypur. The Rest, As They Say, Is History

It was Anurag Kashyap's 2012 gangster drama 'Gangs of Wasseypur' that catapulted Siddiqui to stardom. He played a local gangster, Faisal Khan, in the film and showcased what he's truly capable of! And there has been no looking back ever since then.

(Credit: T-Series)

He went on to star in films like Miss Lovely', 'The Lunchbox', 'Talaash', 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', 'Kick', 'Manjhi – The Mountain Man', and 'Manto' among others. And he has won numerous awards over the years, including a National Award.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Siddiqui. Thanks For Inspiring Us!