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'Bollywood doesn't take actors like me seriously'

Last updated on: May 29, 2012 15:55 IST

Nawazuddin SiddiquiActor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has become the toast of Cannes, after his films -- Gangs Of Wasseypur and Miss Lovely -- were screened at the film festival. International filmmakers are now showing interest in his work.

Nawazuddin is also dazed by the Cannes experience. "It is all so new to me, like a dream. Back home, I am still struggling to establish myself in the Hindi film industry. The kind of cinema I do doesn't get much of an audience at home. Hopefully, that will change after Gangs Of Wasseypur."

The six-hour two-part Gangs Of Wasseypur was shown as one film at Cannes.

"It was an experience I've never gone through, and I'll never forget," Nawazuddin continues. "Back home, they don't take actors like me seriously. In Bollywood, I am not a star. The focus is on people who sell. Here in Cannes, the audience that came to see Wasseypur was genuinely interested in watching a different kind of film from India. They watched both the parts of Gangs Of Wasseypur and then they asked so many important questions about the film. I felt my career was worth all the struggle I've been through."

An even bigger ovation awaited Nawazuddin when Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely was screened.

"The film doesn't have any background music," he says. "It is set in the Mumbai film industry in the 1970s. Yet, the audiences in Cannes have connected with the film. All of us from the film were flooded with questions."

Subhash K Jha in Patna