For someone who was reluctant to leave the world of theatre to work in movies, actor Adil Hussain has come a long way, steadily making space for himself in Indian cinema as well as crossover films.
A still from director Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Life of Pi, a novel by Canadian author Yann Martel.
Besides starring in Hindi films such as Ishqiya, Agent Vinod and English Vinglish, he has made his mark with international projects like Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and Mira Nair’s Reluctant Fundamentalist, which releases in India next year.
The 49-year-old actor, who walked the red carpet for Pi at the opening of the Dubai International Film Festival, says his only criteria is good scripts, which are sometimes hard to come by. “I am not struggling but I am not established either, in Bollywood. If anyone calls me and I like the script, I do it. Otherwise, I am happy living in Delhi. I am old, I can’t go begging for films. It is a conscious decision to not move to Mumbai. For Ishqiya they found me in Delhi. I liked the script and decided to do the film,” said Adil.
In an industry ruled, not often by talent, but by the star system, Adil admits that he was apprehensive about making a career in cinema but things are changing for him. “Unfortunately, there is not that much emphasis on the script or talent in our industry. It is the star system that dominates. Some stars are very good actors but not all of them. I also had some apprehension when I started working with stars but Vidya Balan, Tabu and Sridevi turned out to be fantastic people. My perception about the stars is changing. The ones I met were really nice people,” he said.