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‘I am a romantic at heart’

deepa venkatraman
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interview Huma Qureshi, who has had some good roles coming her way, will next be seen with Madhuri Dixit in Dedh Ishqiya

She is just one year old in the industry but has already carved a niche for herself and won the confidence of many directors for her hard work and talent, as evident in Gangs of Wasseypur , Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana , Ek Thi Daayan and D-Day . Huma Qureshi, who will be seen with Madhuri Dixit in Dedh Ishqiya , talks about her exciting journey in the industry and her rapport with the senior actress. Excerpts:

Coming from a non-film background, how difficult or easy was it to get a breakthrough in the industry?

It was definitely not easy. I had my share of struggles and rejections at many auditions. But that is also part of my learning process. I thank all the people who turned me down initially, as I feel they played an important role in making me a better actor.

It has been more than a year in the industry. What is your view of B-Town and how do you handle competition?

It is a lovely place. I believe that the kind of rapport you develop depends on the kind of person you are. I have met wonderful people who had faith in my work and gave me opportunities. I am happy people have appreciated my work too. As for competition, it is only in the head and I refuse to be part of the rat race. I am here to do my best.

You were selected for the lead in Billa 2 , but you opted out of it. Any regrets?

No, I don’t have any. Maybe something better was in store for me. I take pride in being a very practical person. I was shooting for Ek Thi Daayan and the dates were clashing. So, I opted out of it on a very agreeable note. I would love to do a Kollywood movie, provided an interesting script comes my way.

Gangs of Wasseypur , D-Day — both revolved around crime and bloodshed. Your upcoming movie Dedh Ishqiya too is around gangsters, love and deceit. When can we see you in a lighter movie?

Gangs of Wasseypur was actually a desi gangster movie, while D-Day was a spy thriller. Dedh Ishqiya is a fun, quirky love story. Very soon, sometime next year, you will see me in a romantic comedy.

What is your role in Dedh Ishqiya ?

I play a girl called Muniya, a mysterious character. The movie is on how two men who come to the town of Mahmudabad fall in love with two women, and the series of events that follow.

How did you get the role?

I worked with Abhishek Chaubey before on Ek Thi Daayan , where he was the creative producer. He told me that I was always on his radar and approached me for Dedh Ishqiya . I liked the script and accepted the role.

Madhuri Dixit is a veteran. Did you feel any kind of pressure while shooting for Dedh… ?

I had a bound script in my hand before shooting, so I knew exactly what I was getting into — my role, screen time, dialogues, the attire and everything. Insecurities occur when you don’t know what you are getting into. I know for a fact that Madhuri is a better actress and more beautiful, hence there was no chance for insecurity. I have grown up watching her. So I happily played second fiddle to her in Dedh Ishqiya . I shared a wonderful rapport with her on the sets and she never made me feel like a newcomer.

How was it working with Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi?

It was an amazing experience. I always thought that Naseer sir would be serious on the sets, but he was just the opposite. He was so much fun to be around and Arshad was a complete riot on the sets.

Unlike your contemporaries, you have done short films — Shorts as well as X, both experimental in nature. What is your inspiration behind doing such offbeat movies?

I did Shorts immediately after Gangs of Wasseypur . All the assistant directors on GOW came together to make this short and requested the cast of Gangs of Wasseypur to be part of it, and we all agreed. Raja (Sen) is a dear friend and a good storyteller; he requested me to be part of his film, and I thought it was an interesting project.

Your take on women-centric movies?

I like women-centric films, but most of the women-centric films made in our country portray the central character as either an avenger or a victim. Dedh Ishqiya is also on two women, but they are strong, independent and live lives on their own terms. As an actor as well as an audience, I would love to see more women-centric films where women are empowered.

What is your off-screen personality?

I am a very easy-going, happy person, unlike most of the roles I have played on screen. Huma Qureshi is actually a romantic at heart ( laughs ) and would love to do such genres.

deepa venkatraman

I have met wonderful people who had faith in my work and gave me opportunities


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