Posted by Fenil Seta
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; May 6, 2017)
When Ravi Udyawar approached Nawazuddin Siddiqui for a role in his upcoming directorial debut, Sridevi-starrer 'Mom' the former ad-filmmaker carried more than his script to coax the actor into giving a nod. A series of sketches of a balding, wrinkled Siddiqui was offered to the actor in his hotel room in Kolkata, where he had been shooting for a couple of days.
"They were sketches of his look in the film," Udyawar tells mid-day. "I narrated the script to him, but wanted to share what I had planned for his character. It was important that Nawaz understood his look before coming on board."
Siddiqui, instantly excited with what the filmmaker had in store for him, offered some vital inputs to bring authenticity to his role. "Nawaz shared interesting inputs about the character's walk, vocabulary and voice. As the discussion progressed, I saw my character sitting right in front of me. He just transformed," Udyawar says about his actor, whose blink-and-miss part in the recently released teaser of the thriller has already grabbed the attention of cinephiles. Acknowledging the discussion around Siddiqui's look, Udyawar says makeup and prosthetics made the 42-year-old actor look so distanced from himself, that once, in the midst of shoot, a bunch of fans walked past without recognising him.
Stylist Fabena K would invest a minimum of three hours to turn Siddiqui into the ageing man daily. "There were many layers of makeup needed to get him into character. We used tones of grey and earthen shades. Nawaz is a gizmo freak in the film, but must pass off as someone who cannot own fancy gadgets. Hence, we gave him a digital watch which he wears over a plain kurta pyjama," she says.
Siddiqui's look, Udyawar emphasises, is the crux of his character, and the team went to several lengths to keep it guarded. "We shot for his portions in Delhi over a year ago. On the days he would shoot, only a handful of core unit-members were allowed on set."
Shooting in the Capital made it difficult to steer clear from attention, but heightened security aided in maintaining privacy. In fact, Siddiqui's vanity van did not even bear his name. The efforts paid off.