By the end of this year, Huma Qureshi is expected to have six releases. That’s quite a lot of films for someone who debuted just last year. Huma, who was recently seen in a short film titled Sujata by Shlok Sharma and action thriller D-Day, describes her experience in the industry as terrific. She confesses that she’s a workaholic. So much so that since June 22, 2012 — the release date of her debut film — she hasn’t had a single holiday. Excerpts from an interview:
How do you look back at your journey so far?
When I started out, I knew I wanted to be an actress. But at the same time, I wasn’t one of those who go for two auditions only to say ‘kaam nahi mil raha hai’ (I’m not getting work) and give up. I was determined to work, be it for TV or theatre or ad commercials or short films. I wasn’t waiting for my big break. I believe that attitude has certainly paid off for me.
There have been quite a lot of releases with big names attached...
Those who say that I’ve done many films in a short period of time don’t know how and who I was before I got my first film. I’ve had my struggling days. I don’t belong to a filmi background, so for someone who came from Delhi and eventually made herself at home in Mumbai, I’ve done pretty well. But even today, my criteria for a film remain the same: the script has to be challenging and people should be engaging.
Interestingly, there aren’t many actresses around who’d sign up for a short film.
I liked the challenge thrown at my direction by Shlok. He said that I won’t wear any make-up in his film. Since we were going to shoot in public places, he didn’t want me to stand out in the crowd because of my skin colour or my features. He was apprehensive while asking me but was relieved to know that I’m equally passionate about his vision. After going through the film fest circuit, we never figured that an anthology of short films could bag a theatrical release too.
How was it performing stunts in D-Day?
Awesome! It was the first time I did something of this sort and the experience was an eye-opener. Although I had all the harnesses in place, it helped me realise the danger associated with action scenes.
What is the best and the worst part about Bollywood?
As a film actress, I get to travel a lot and play different characters. I can pretend to be somebody I’m not in front of the camera. Also, I get to meet interesting people. On the downside, invasion of privacy can be bothersome at times. But it’s all worth it!
Amongst your colleagues, who has impressed you the most?
A lot of them, actually. Take Nawazuddin (Siddiqui) for instance. It was only when the shooting of Gangs of Wasseypur ended that I came to know who the real Nawaz is. Before that, he was completely in his character. I’m also working with stalwarts like Naseer saab, Madhuriji (Dixit) and Arshad Warsi in my upcoming films. They are simply brilliant.
Lastly, there has been a lot of talk about you having weight issues. Comments?
I don’t have weight issues. I’m an actress first and whatever the character demands on the screen, I need to be that person. If that person is on the wrong side of the conventional scale, then that’s the demand of the role.