Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is returning as Ganesh Gaitonde, a Mumbai don with God-complex in "Sacred Games 2", says he is not judgemental about the morality of his characters.
Gaitonde, with his trigger-happy swagger and dialogues such as "Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwan hai" (Sometimes I think I am God), has acquired a cult following among Siddiqui's fans, something, the actor says, would not have been possible if the character was a good guy.
"I don't think what Gaitonde is doing in the show is morally right or wrong. To me it is about fulfilling the demand of the character, be it the (colourful) language he uses or other things. I would not say, 'I can't do this or that' because I am being loved and respected so much in real life," Siddiqui told PTI in an interview.
If anything, the actor says, such parts give him a chance to reinvent and break an established image. "I do not believe in having a goodie-goodie image. There should be no hypocrisy. I am not judgemental. I don't question anything as Nawaz about what Gaitonde does. It is a character, it is his story, it is his life. I have to trust the vision of the director, writer and the team for the character."
The Netflix India original, based on Vikram Chandra's book of the same name, centres primarily around two main characters - Mumbai Police officer Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), who is trying to save the city from a possible attack and Gaitonde, who tips him off just before mysteriously killing himself.
The second season, which premieres on August 15, will pick up from where the first part ended. Siddiqui says it was easier to slip into the character as he had already played it for a while. "There is no one like him in real life that I came across. But I can assume that there are people like him. Even if you dislike him, there are two-three good things in him - he loves Mumbai, he doesn't believe in religion and he trusts everyone.
"It is a grey character, not black entirely. According to Gaitonde, he is right and according to others, he is wrong. He maybe wrong but he is honest to what he is doing. "When you have done something before, there is some kind of familiarity but you have to also make sure you do not take anything for granted and be at ease. The character is same, the situation is different but one just has to keep the momentum going."
In season one, it was essential for Siddiqui to understand the world of Gaitonde - both internally and externally. "Second season is more internal. Gaitonde is a complicated character. It is for the first time that I had the opportunity delve deep into a character. It was a great experience."
The actor says while the makers were confident about how the show will pan out, he did not anticipate that Gaitonde would become so popular, especially with international audiences.