Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is happy that the audience has finally accepted him as a solo hero with the success of his latest film Manjhi - The Mountain Man.
The film was based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi, a poor labourer in Gehlaur village (Bihar), who carved a path through a mountain with only a hammer and chisel in his wife's memory.
Though the film leaked online just days before the release, Nawaz said people still turned up to watch it in theatres. According to Box Office India, the film grossed Rs 9.64 crore on a budget of Rs 8.5 crore.
"It feels really nice to get a central character in a film. But in our industry, there is a belief that your solo lead films should register well at the box-office. The film leaked and CDs were sold and still the movie made good enough money at the box-office."
"It was also declared tax-free in 5-6 states. So, we benefitted a lot. It is a very nice feeling that people are accepting me as a solo hero," the actor told PTI.
Nawazuddin's upcoming projects include superstar Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees and debutant Shlok Sharma's teacher-student love story Haramkhor opposite Masaan actress Shweta Tripathi.
Raees will see the actor sharing screen space with Shah Rukh for the first time. Nawazuddin, who has earlier worked with both Aamir and Salman Khan, is all praise for the Chennai Express star.
"First schedule is complete. I shot with Shah Rukh and I had an amazing experience working with him. I really enjoyed shooting with him."
When asked to comment on the reports that he is playing Pakistani actress Mahira Khan's husband in the film and his character has grey shades, Nawazuddin said, "I haven't heard of any such thing. I play a cop in the film. I can't divulge much about the movie."
Haramkhor tells a sensitive tale of a relationship between a teacher (Nawazuddin) and his student (Shweta) based on an incident from Shlok's life.
"The film is based on reality. Shlok has a great command over story, how teachers and students behave... because this incident happened in his life. He has witnessed something like this and I am very happy that I am bringing it on screen," Nawazuddin said.