Award-winning actor, Riazuddin Ahmed Siddiqui, better known as Riaz has won the hearts of the masses with his charming personality and brilliant performances. He emerged as a heartthrob superstar with the 1997 hit ‘Praner Cheye Priyo’, where he played the male lead. Over the years, he has received several prestigious awards, including three ‘National Film Awards’ and seven ‘Meril Prothom Alo Awards.’ This week, the actor opened up his heart to Star Showbiz and talked about his journey as an actor.
I didn’t exactly have a dream to become an actor. It all happened very suddenly. Currently, I own a communications firm called Pink Creative. I also split my time working with the media. For me, business is about business; acting is my passion. Even if work keeps me busy, I can always find time for acting. We have a strong team at work. Even when I’m not at the office, it will never feel like I’m not there. Our team is efficient and manages the workplace meticulously.
When it comes to acting, the platform is irrelevant. For me, there is no difference between the big-screen and the small-screen. I had an opportunity to work with Humayun Ahmed and to be able to do so was a significant moment in my career. It hardly mattered that it was on the small-screen. If switching to the small-screen diminished my demand as an actor in any way, my audience would be best able to answer that. I’m a positive person and I try to live a simple life. The love that I’ve received from my audience and the place I’ve earned in their hearts will last forever.
OF HOPES & FRUSTRATIONS
At present, everyone in the industry is making an effort to do well. However, I am not feeling optimistic about the current state of our media industry. People are losing their jobs. Artists aren’t getting the respect that they deserve. The present state of the showbiz industry is not looking positive. The new stars in the industry are very talented, but I feel bad for them. They aren’t catching breaks, because there simply aren’t good films or stories. If they could find some well-written stories, they would do exceptionally well. Among the new artists, I see a lot of potential in Siam. He’s a decent young man, well-educated, and dedicated. I believe that he’ll do even better in the future.
AN ACTOR’S ADVERSITIES
I have had to overcome many obstacles in my career. I’ve been prey to a lot of political dynamics. In the case of fair politics, I have tackled it with a positive mind-set. But whenever I witnessed foul play and realised that there was no way that I could go against it, I removed myself from the situation.
THE ACTOR VS. THE INDIVIDUAL
The actor and the individual are two different personas. Riaz, the actor was born from the love of his audience. That Riaz is incredibly modest. And the individual has his own personal life and he enjoys his privacy. This Riaz is timid and down-to-earth, and lives a simple life.
INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATION
There hasn’t been anyone in particular who has been my acting inspiration. However, my cousin Bobita Apa brought me into the film industry and has always encouraged me. The late Dilip Biswas helped me tremendously. And the actor Jashim Bhai, in whose film I secured my first acting role, has also given me a lot of encouragement. Other than that, the artists with whom I have had the pleasure to work, have also been an indispensable source of support. I am immensely grateful to every single one of them. Truthfully, if I must talk about inspiration, then the credit would surely go to my audience. It is because of them that I have been able to become the actor, Riaz.
My favourite hobby is fishing. I’ll go fishing whenever I get the chance. I have many favourite writers, both Bangladeshi and foreign. If I had to choose one, I would say Humayun Ahmed. He is someone I cherish both as a person and as a writer. Rabindranath Tagore is also a beloved writer. I have many favourite music artists and I enjoy listening to anybody who sings well; it would be impossible to single anyone out. I usually spend all my free time with my family.
I do have a desire to produce teleplays and films. If I find that I’m able and qualified, I’ll definitely start my own project. Right now, I don’t have any concrete plan regarding my work. We’ll talk about the future when we get there. As an artist, it’s difficult to plan for the future. Our future depends a lot on the offers we get for various roles. So I can’t say much about what’s to come in the days ahead.
Interviewed by Akhand Jahid
Transcribed by Daminee Zakiya Salahuddin