One of the 2020s most memorable performances came from the stellar Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Sudhir Mishra’s Serious Men. Based on Manu Joseph’s crackling book by the same name, the film is a sharp take on ambition and caste politics, put in perspective in the Indian context. Siddiqui slays as the striking Ayyan, a quality that makes the film shine. The Sudhir-Nawaz combination has had a major winning streak with the film, earning major nominations and awards through the season. Of course, the International Emmy Awards recognised his work in the film by nominating his performance in the Best Actor category. Amongst other notable names from India nominated are – Vir Das’ comedy special For India and Sushmita Sen starrer Aarya, directed by Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi.
British star David Tennant (Des), Roy Nik of Israel (Normali) and Christian Tappan of Colombia (El Robo del Siglo or The Great Heist) are also in the race alongside Siddiqui.
The actor, who is currently in the UK shooting for a film, was ecstatic at the nomination. He tells us, “It’s a matter of great honour to simply be nominated. It’s a film that is intricate and depicts the raw frailties of Indian society. The diversity of our culture is reflected in the narrative and Sudhir Mishra (director) has brought it out so well with this story. My character itself is a flawed one but eventually, he stays with you. I had a wonderful time with Sudhir Bhai and may this film be the first of many for us. ”
The film that traces the story of an ambitious underachiever who capitalises on his boy-genius son’s fame to improve their standard of living, opened to great reviews and scored amongst Netflix’s most popular releases last year. Sudhir Mishra, elated at the nomination, says, “I always knew Nawaz is the guy who can truly do justice to the character. It takes a truly remarkable actor like him to make a duplicitous character appealing. A lot of the film’s beauty comes from the fact that Nawaz and I are a solid team. We get each other and we work together to elevate the material. He was a strong pillar of support through the making. I am delighted that we made a film that not only won laurels on domestic shores but put the country on the map at an international forum like the Emmys. Here’s hoping for a big win.”
It’s been a golden run for Nawaz this September. Earlier in the month, his film No Land’s Man helmed by renowned Bangladesh filmmaker Mostafa Farooki was selected to premiere at the Busan Film Festival.