I have always known and seen Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the actor who can make any role his own. Him being a National School of Drama graduate, I expect nothing less from him and the actor always delivers. Be it artistic cinema or the commercial potboilers, Nawazuddin always adds quality to his projects with his input, so much so, that any project today with his name associated with it, is automatically considered a sure shot critical success.

Here are some iconic roles of Nawazuddin that I have loved:

Miss Lovely

A film about the criminal depths of Mumbai’s C-grade industry that makes horror and porn films, Miss Lovely had Nawazuddin playing the role of a filmmaker whose life heads for a downfall after he meets a mysterious young woman named Pinky. His nuanced portrayal in the film just made me certain that this man will give some historic projects in the time to come, and he did.

The Lunchbox

One of the most remarkable character in Nawazuddin’s filmography will always be of Shaikh in The Lunchbox. The film was screened at Cannes Film Festival and received global acclaim. Nawazuddin’s character was so well-received that the actor was showered with accolades, and this one will always be close to my heart.


With Kick, Nawazuddin proved that he can do commercial cinema with as much panache as he does artistic films. Playing the antagonist opposite Salman Khan, the actor presented a different avatar of him in the movie. Till date, his signature laugh in the film and the ‘Maut ko chuke…’ dialogue are still remembered by everyone, including me.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Continuing the success streak, Nawazuddin and Salman collaborated yet again for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and his portrayal of a Pakistani news reporter Chand Nawab, which was based on a real-life reporter with the same name, connected with the audience. His humor with a touch of emotion just made me fall in love with his craft.

Manjhi—The Mountain Man

After playing supporting characters for a long time, Nawazuddin took the lead in Manjhi, a biographical film, in which he played the character of Dashrath Manjhi. His character’s dedication reflected the actor’s own for me and he just set a new benchmark with this role.

Raman Raghav 2.0

Nawazuddin’s relationship with dark characters is no less than a love story, and the actor never disappoints in one. Another one of his came in Raman Raghav 2.0 where he played the real-life killer Raman Raghav and just scared me with his histrionics while also keeping me hooked to the story.


After Salman, Nawazuddin worked with another Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and this time as a cop. The actor held his own so strongly against the superstar that I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by him and his capabilities.


Nawazuddin brought to life the character of the celebrated author and writer Saadat Hasan Manto in this biographical drama. And his portrayal will surely go down in history as one of the best, as I can’t imagine anyone else stepping into those shoes as efficiently and delicately as him.


If as Manto Nawazuddin portrayed sensitivity, in his role as late Balasaheb Thackeray in Thackeray, the actor showed firmness and strength. Living up to such a big personality isn’t an easy task, but he did it so smoothly that I was left in awe of him after watching the film.

Serious Men

Nawazuddin’s portrayal of a common man who develops an outrageous story and then gets entangled in it, was so good that it even fetched him an International Emmy nomination. With this role he just proved that no matter the genre or the medium, he will always shine.

With each project of his, Nawazuddin just proves his mettle as an actor and it’s indeed an honour for me to be alive in the era where I get to see him bring such characters to life in front of myself. Waiting to some more such gems from the actor in the years to come.