Theatre and film actor Adil Hussain has been doing significant roles both in mainstream and arthouse cinema. In fear of being typecast as is the habit in Bollywood he consciously made an effort to stay away from roles like that of a police officer or the heroine’s father. He chose wisely and landed himself path-breaking roles that got him awards beginning with the National Award. He recently won the National Award of Norway for the Best Actor also known as the Amanda Award for his role in the film, ‘What Will People Say’.
“The reason I made acting my career is to experience different kinds of situations that I don’t get to experience in everyday life. In a country that is used to typecasting actors, I had to put a moratorium on playing regular roles. I am trying my best to get different kinds of films,” shares Adil.
Going forward we will see in him in a significant role in the much awaited Tabrez Noorani film, ‘Love Sonia’. He shares, “I play a farmer whose poverty forces him to let go his integrity. He is a loving father, but he cannot continue to look after his daughters and he gets into a situation where he ends up doing things that no father can ever dream of doing. It is an important film.
Every year around 90,000 kids go missing from India, which is a staggering figure. We do not talk about it at all, and we do not even want to discuss trafficking and sex-work that prevalently exists in our society. Many men buy sex and we find it ok. Laws are grey, and they do not protect the victims. Victims do not have social status. They are treated sub-human. We do not have a concrete plan for rehabilitation. There should be a nationwide discussion that has to reach our drawing rooms. We have to take concrete steps to bring the issue to light.”
‘Love Sonia’ being made on the subject of trafficking for sex work is indeed creating a buzz even before its release. “It has good cast and crew. People will relish all the performances. There is a young actor like Rajkummar Rao and a senior like Anupam Kher and accomplished actors from Hollywood like Demi Moore and Mark Duplass.
Mrunal and Riya are the discoveries of the year. They acted very well. Cinematographer Lucan Beilan worked for ‘Life of Pi’. Working for the film has been extremely satisfying. I also knew Tabrez from ‘Life of Pi’. ‘Love Sonia’ is based on his own real-life experience of meeting this girl in Los Angeles. It is not an imaginary story. So, it becomes more believable. People will resonate to it well,” he adds.
His coterie of films has quite a bit of foreign cinema in it. On being one of the favourite actors of international filmmakers, he divulges, “I think Indian actors are used to acting in a certain way, which is a bit exaggerated. This they do to cater to the Indian audience. Different parts of the globe follow different genres of acting. For example, in European cinema, they look for realistic acting. That must be one of the reasons they choose certain actors.”
That said he is also taking baby steps into the digital world. On the increased opportunities for actors, thanks to the Netflix, Amazon and HotStars of the world, he says they are a blessing to actors like him, “I think for actors like us, who are looking for roles that are meaningful to play; it has become easier to get such roles and get paid as well. When you do independent cinema, it gives you creative satisfaction but there is no money in it.”
“In terms of my involvement in a film, I have been happy doing films like ‘Sunrise: Arunoday’, a beautiful film that is streaming on Netflix, ‘Muktibhavan’ and ‘What Will People Say’ that got me the Amanda Award,” he relates. In addition to ‘Love Sonia’ Adil Hussain will also be seen in Rajinikanth’s upcoming film, directed by Shankar, ‘2.0’.