Exclusive - Adil Hussain: Happy for people practicing different sexual orientations

Updated: Sep 17, 2018, 14:02 IST | Gayatri Nirmal

In an exclusive interaction with mid-day online, Adil Hussain speaks about farmers' plight in India, abolishing of Section 377 and his film, Love Sonia that talks about human trafficking

Exclusive - Adil Hussain: Happy for people practicing different sexual orientations
Adil Hussain. Picture Courtesy: Instagram/_adilhussain

Adil Hussain, an actor, who has made India proud globally through his work, is all set to enchant the viewers with a yet-another hard-hitting film. Hussain has predominantly worked in independent films and believes that art is the only medium through one can spread love and understand each other, despite the geographical barriers. With many prestigious honours to his name, Adil is seen portraying the role of a farmer in Love Sonia. The film hit the screens on Friday, September 14.

Tell us about your character in Love Sonia.
The character is a member of the poorest of the poor in our country, that happens to be the farmer's community. The farmers that we all know, have been committing suicide in the last so many years and we haven't really woken up to this human tragedy. Imagine that 100 thousand doctors committing suicide in India and what would happen? But hundreds and thousands of farmers have committed suicide in India and nobody is waking up and taking serious actions to stop this human tragedy in India. This particular farmer called Shiva, from Maharashtra, loses his integrity as a father and tries to find a way to survive along with his wife and another daughter and allows the elder daughter to be taken away from him into slavery. That's the role and the dilemma of the father, and his responsibilities, the tragedy, and the guilt.

What intrigued you to do this film?
First of all, we don't realise the number of people that start getting trafficked from here, in India. I came to know about it when I did a film called Panga which focused on the parent's trauma when their 10-year-old daughter gets kidnapped and sold; the statistics of 100 thousand children are being kidnapped every year. That's the first time I realized this and came to know about it, heard about it. It's so strange. 100 thousand children getting trafficked every year and we don't know and don't talk about it. The politicians don't talk about it. I just felt the gravity of this issue. When Tabrez Noorani (film's director) who has been my friend since Life of Pi, and David Womark, who I also know since Life of Pi, when they came up with this script, I read and realized the importance of telling this story in India right now, and the role of the father with so many layers, I decided to do this film.

Were you aware of the global human trafficking happening on a rampant scale in India?
No. I wasn't. Till 2013, I wasn't.

You have always been a huge supporter and acted in several independent films, how would you describe your connection with these films?
I feel that with Independent or descendent films and the subjects that they deal with are much more meaningful, real, layered, complex. They don't portray black and white characters like other mainstream Bollywood films or Hollywood. There is no good guy or the bad guy. We are all grey people, not black and white and for an actor, to be able to play such grey shades, it's a feast for an actor when asked to play a role like that. My involvement is very selfish that way and I grow as an actor, as a human being, rediscovering oneself, as we are all participating in a film that makes sense, which has got some relevance to the time that we are living. Cinema is one of the most powerful art-forms, it justifies my activities and practice of art and doesn't make me a narcissistic or selfish actor who just loves his fame only.

With a plethora of talent in you, would you do an out and out commercial film with a weak script but handsome money?
I have done one long back, I was sort of blackmailed into it. I haven't watched the film (laughs). No, I really won't. It has to make some sense. Like I did Robot 2 but it has a very strong message though it is an out and out commercial film. It has got in its core, there is an intention of telling people what's going on.

You've done many international feature and short films. So, how does it feel when your work gets validated there?
It sort of vindicates my beliefs that art has no boundaries, that every human being in the world, it's very interesting that at the same they are similar but also very different. To find those similarities and talk about those universal values, they are recognized across the globe and is extremely inspiring and makes you feel that art certainly has no boundaries. We can communicate with people from different parts of the world in different languages by practicing different values and custom. Two of my films are now being shown in different parts of the world, 'Mukti Bhawan', alternatively known as 'Hotel Salvation' and 'What Will People Say', they are releasing across the globe in 50 to 70 countries. It shows that we are one people, one humanity and this what has connected this.

Adil Hussain
Adil Hussain

What do you have to say about the Supreme Court's verdict on Section 377 being abolished?
I think this particular verdict is as important as the criminalization of Sati, the Pratha which was prevalent in early 19th century wherein if the husband dies, the widow had to also jump into the fire. It was so bad and patriarchal. It was such a historical decision that government took in those days to criminalize it. Now, this particular striking down section 377 act is as historical and important as that. It is archaic, is unscientific and illegal from the point of view of freedom of expression and from the point of view of humanity. it a biological phenomenon. The Britishers brought in the rule and they don't have the rule now there in England, I don't understand why do we still had it here. We should have been done away with the law like 100 years ago but then we did it anyway, so thanks to the Supreme court judges, who have the wisdom to do this. Extremely grateful and happy for the people who have been practicing different sexual orientations.

Tell us something about your upcoming projects.
Well, I have just finished two films back to back, one is the Khasi film in Meghalaya, which is a micro-budget film like I can say, and another one is a very celebrated, 16 times Industry Award-winner, directed by Goutam Ghose. He is doing a Hindi film after 11 years, tentatively named 'One Day In The Rain' in English in which I have played a lead with Tillotama Shome and Neeraj Kabi. I am now starting another film called 'Nirvana' next month in Manali with Sandhya Mridul and Rajshri Deshpande. I have just signed another film recently but the producers want to announce it officially later with a very famous director in India and he is well-known in Bombay of-course and I am again playing the lead in the film. Also, there's one more with the Mukti Bhawan producer just after that. So yeah, that's about it!

Also Read: Adil Hussain's What Will People Say Enters Oscar 2019 Fray

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