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‘I want to be in every Indian’s heart’

Pakistani actor Humaima is eager to win Indian filmgoers' hearts

Pakistani actor Humaima is eager to win Indian filmgoers' hearts   | Photo Credit: 21dmc Humaima6

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“From ‘Bol’ to bold”, that’s how Humaima Malick describes her journey from being a leading Pakistani actress to a debutante in Bollywood

“I am here for good. Please accept me,” says Humaima Malick in the midst of an animated discussion about her Hindi film debut with Raja Natwarlal opposite Emraan Hashmi. Suddenly, the desperation in her voice reminds of her predecessors, Meera and Veena Malik. A leading Pakistani television and film actress whose fame crossed borders with a moving performance in Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol, Humaima was expected to be different. And Humaima assures that she is. “I am not here to follow anybody’s path and with Bol I have already proven my talent. But nobody can make a Bol kind of film again. And as an actor I want to do all kind of roles. So here I am, from Bol to bold,” Humaima seems eager to drop catchy phrases.

She has done her homework. “Beautiful, entertaining, emotional, full of action that’s what defines a typical Hindi film. Bol won 16 international awards. I have done something very serious. Now I want to reach the masses. I want to be in every Indian’s heart. I want every Indian to accept me as one of them. And what better vehicle than an Emraan Hashmi film? From a banker to a rickshaw-wallah he has a following in every section of the society.”

That’s true but Emraan’s on screen company has scared many a Hindi film heroine because his films are only about him and have a degree of sensual appeal where a kiss is usually part of the contract and Raja Natwarlal sounds no different. “It is not niche for sure and the elements you are talking about are now common in Hindi films. It depends on how you use them. No doubt, it has created a lot of noise in Pakistan and I don’t know how the Censor Board will react there but it is a UA film that you can watch with the family.”

Talking about her role, Humaima, who hails from the Baluchistan area and likes to be called a strong girl, says she is playing a bar dancer who stands by her man through thick and thin. “In our part of the world the girl friend often starts to play the mother of the boy. It is that kind of role where I will get to sing and dance and then become the emotional anchor of Raja.”

When one suggests that there is hardly any novelty in this description, Humaima counters. “A good actor knows how to create his or her space. Also, life is too short to go into too many details.”

Changing the topic, Humaima says with Hindi films releasing in theatres, Bollywood is a big draw in Pakistan these days. “ Ek Tha Tiger was a big hit in Pakistan.” But wasn’t Agent Vinod, where the hero was again a RAW agent, banned? “It was. But so are Pakistani films where an ISI agent is the hero. They don’t find release in India. Let’s look at the positives,” requests Humaima adding that she doesn’t subscribe to the notion that Hindi films are eating into the business of local films. “If a film is good nobody can stop it. Bol ran to housefull shows for months despite its so-called controversial take. People tend to generalise Pakistan audience as a monolith.”

A common objection from the other side of the border is that Indian films always show the love story of an Indian boy/ hero with a Pakistani girl/ heroine. Why it can’t be the other way round. “I don’t find weight in this argument. It is just a matter of casting and availability of good actors. Now, Fawad (Khan) is working opposite Sonam Kapoor in the remake of Khoobsurat.” Finally, Humaima gets one through!

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:55:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/i-want-to-be-in-every-indians-heart-humaima/article6334771.ece

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