Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is playing the lead role in Sudhir Mishra’s Serious Men, said that the film is a fulfilment of his 20-year-old dream. He recalled an incident of him hanging around on the sets of Calcutta Mail in 2000, hoping to meet the filmmaker, but not being able to.
In a note shared in Hindi on his Twitter account, Nawazuddin wrote, “In the year 2000, when the film Calcutta Mail was being shot, an assistant director promised to introduce me to the film’s director, Sudhir Mishra. He told me, ‘Come to the set but come close only when I raise my hand.’ As promised, I reached the set and waited in the crowd, waiting for the assistant director to raise his hand so I could rush to meet Mishra ji.”
“After around an hour, the assistant director raised his hand and I swiftly navigated my way through the crowd and reached his chair. Mishra ji was sitting right next to him. The assistant director saw me and asked, ‘What is it?’ I replied, ‘You raised your hand, so I came.’ He said, ‘I raised my hand to scratch myself, go back and come only when I raise my hand,’” he added.
बीस साल बाद … pic.twitter.com/wYkR6vJWH7
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) September 3, 2020
Nawazuddin returned to the crowd but kept his eyes peeled for the assistant director to raise his hand, vowing to pay attention to whether it was a gesture or if he was simply scratching himself. Though the actor hung around on the set for a long time, the assistant director did not raise his hand again, even to scratch himself.
“They all got busy with the shoot and like every day, I dissolved into the Mumbai crowd, thinking that he scratched his itch but left my dream of working with Sudhir Mishra unfulfilled. That dream came true 20 years later… #SeriousMen,” he wrote.
Serious Men, a cinematic adaptation of Manu Joseph’s book of the same name, will be released on Netflix. The film revolves around a slum-dweller who spins a web of lies about his young son being a genius, in order to achieve the upward mobility he has always craved.
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