Bollywood is slowly growing more inclusive and has opened up to new talent, but it’s still popularly held that star-kids get preferential treatment, and are often the first to be considered for author-backed roles. Ask Huma Qureshi if she has faced that bias, and the actor says, “Some of the star-kids I’ve known personally are extremely passionate and hard-working. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that favouritism and nepotism does exist in the industry.”
But would it have been easier had Huma hailed from a film family? “Yes. On the other hand, I may have also had to suffer a lot of the things that star-kids go through. For instance, they have to decide where their loyalties lie, which films to do, and how it will reflect on the family. There is so much pressure,” she says.
However, Huma does feel the preference granted to star-kids can be unfair sometimes. “There may be a role that I might want to do, [but it may go to a star-kid]. And it has happened in the past. Sometimes, I feel I may lose out on a part because somebody is pushing for another actor,” says the actor. “It is difficult and will continue to be that way.”
But Huma says she enjoys acting, regardless of the way the industry functions. “If I am not happy with what is being offered, I will just take a break. I don’t need to do something to prove a point. I don’t feel like I have to do three films a year or else people will forget me. I am not insecure. I am happy doing the work that comes my way, but it has to be interesting.” says the Badlapur (2015) actor.
Huma, who recently shared the frame with Akshay Kumar for the first time in The State vs. Jolly LL.B 2, says the actor “is amazing to work with”. “He is a perfect example of what hard-work and discipline can do to your life. He does three or four films a year. It is incredible how he manages to strike that balance between family and work. Sometimes, I get so busy that I don’t get the time to talk to my mother, and I feel so guilty about it. One needs to know how to balance life.”
The actor will next be seen in Viceroy’s House (helmed by Gurinder Chadha) and The State vs. Jolly LL.B 2.