In just over a decade, Siddiqui has gone from a struggling bit-part actor worried about finding food to an acclaimed international star coveted by directors for his versatility across all genres.
“When your film gets selected in a good category, you feel confident that you are on the right track and your choice of films is good,” Siddiqui told AFP in an interview.
His latest film sees him play the lead role in Manto, a biopic about the troubled life of Indian-Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto.
The movie, directed by Nandita Das, has been selected for the Un Certain Regard category of the film festival which opens Tuesday.
“I enjoy Cannes because it is such a big and prestigious platform. It’s a whole world revolving around films,” said Siddiqui.
Manto (1912-1955) is considered to be one of the Indian subcontinent’s greatest ever short story writers.
He was lauded for being bold and progressive and a proponent of free speech, writing truthfully about the brutal violence that followed the partition of British India.