We were shooting at Wink, the posh bar at Mumbai’s Vivanta by Taj – President hotel, and for every change, Nawazuddin Siddiqui would have to head upstairs to a room on the 11th floor. Our cover star came with none of the airs or tantrums that a person whose rise to fame has been quick and straight to the top – a bit like that tiresome elevator ride – is generally associated with. Keep in mind that this was a Sunday morning, that he had already given an hour-long interview for the cover story and that he would be taking off the next day to prep for his new film – the man is as chilled out as they come.
He is also, funnily enough, as reticent as they come, to the point that when we required candid shots, one of our assistant editors had to stand close to him and initiate conversation that would lead to natural reactions and expressions from Nawaz. When this technique brought forth the desired effect, said AE was positioned next to the camera for every shot, much to everyone’s amusement. It didn’t help that our photographer, Errikos Andreou, and Nawaz don’t speak a common language. Somehow, though, they pulled off great chemistry, thanks largely to Errikos’s jovial chants of “Bravo!” every time he got a great shot.