Bollywood actors get Hollywood films because of agents, not talent: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Dibyojyoti Baksi

May,10 2016 13:06 54 IST

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is elated that his upcoming film, the Anurag Kashyap-directed Raman Raghav 2.0, is being showcased at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nawaz admits that it was tough to get under the skin of a contact killer — a role he portrays in Raman Raghav 2.0 — and that it feels good to have the film shown at a prestigious platform like Cannes.

“It feels good that you have worked so hard and completed the film in 20 days and now it’s getting showcased in Cannes,” Siddiqui tells Firstpost.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Image from News18

Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Image from News18

This is his eighth film to be screened at Cannes, but Nawaz feels the festival appreciation Indian films receive should translate into box office success as well, when they release in theatres.

In fact, Nawaz maintains that making a film just for festivals is like cheating the producers.

“There are films like Gangs of Wasseypur (parts one and two) and The Lunchbox, which were showcased in Cannes and even earned money when they got a theatrical release here. These films didn’t have any class division. They were commercially viable festival films. I feel bad when a film is appreciated in festivals but fails at the box office. It is a bit scary. For example, my film Miss Lovely was highly appreciated in many festivals but didn’t work at the box office. If you see, there are number of films like this, that are critically acclaimed at festivals but fail commercially. When you make a film only for the festival circuit, you are betraying the producer, I feel,” Nawaz says.

Of late, a slew of Bollywood actors like Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, among others, are being seen in American television shows and Hollywood films.

Ask Nawaz if he too aspires to join the bandwagon, and if he believes his stature on the festival circuit will help him bag international projects, and he says: “By international films, you mean Hollywood. Actors get work in Hollywood not because of their talent, but because of the agents they keep there to get them roles. Those who have got work, they’ve had agents there for almost 10 years. I haven’t kept any agent as of now. It has become overrated that an actor is working in Hollywood. Many actors before them, from our black and white days, like Amrish Puri, IS Johar, Om Puri, Gulshan Grover etc have worked there. It’s only recently become ‘news’ that Bollywood actors are making it to Hollywood.”