He won the award for his debut film that was co-written by him and Anurag Kashyap - Gangs of Wasseypur. His future projects too, Revolver Rani, RocknRoll and another untitled film - are all crime-based stories. So what makes Filmfare award winner Zeishan Quadri love crime stories. HT talks to Zeishan Quadri and unravels the mystery.
Talking about his Filmfare award, Zeishan Quadri says, "Winning Filmfare award was the best feeling. It is the only award which means a lot to everybody. It's the oldest award. I always wanted to win Filmfare for Gangs of Wasseypur. When they announced the award, I was like, "OH MY GOD!"
Anurag Kashyap told me, "I have struggled in this industry for 16-17 years for this award and lost half of my enthusiasm and energy. It is great you got Filmfare Award for your first film."
FASCINATION WITH CRIME
Your debut film was a crime story. Your have at least three projects lined up, which are also crime-based. What is it that fascinates you about criminal narratives?
Zeishan Quadri said, "I firmly believe that a criminal act is never cold blooded. It is actually a repercussion of social injustices. So, I want to explore the criminal minds, the psychology behind criminal acts." He adds, "My dad is an engineer but his life is too boring. Crime writing interests me more when its non fictional. I have managed to grow up in Wasseypur in a family that was completely detached from crime. However, not everyone in Wasseypur is as lucky. There are times when people are forced to pick up the gun. The circumstances of his family may force him to become a criminal."
The Definite Khan of Gangs of Wasseypur further says, "Crime fascinates me. I don't know why but it does. The criminal psychology is interesting. I believe that behind every criminal act, there is some reason that can be attributed to the society. Wasseypur is not the only place. I was in Meerut for some time. I know people who want to become criminals. Its all about psychology...what they think. They are not used to listening 'NO'."
Elaborating on the life of a criminal, he says, "At the very beginning, a criminal knows he will be shot to death one day. Kai na kai ye negative part humare social set up me bhi hai. Police bande ko itna dabati hai ki ek normal aadmi b criminal ban jaata hai (The negative element is somewhere embedded in our social set up. Even a normal person turns into a criminal due to police atrocities and social injustice). It is not filmy, very true. Agar police support nai karti Wo banda khud k liye badla lene ki sochta hai (If the police doesn't support the common man, he is bound to fend for himself.)."
People born in a criminal family have the freedom of leaving the world of crime but they want to encash the power and luxury that their families have gathered, Zeishan Quadri said. Writing about a criminal is actually exploring criminal psychology for me, he added.
Talking about his role in Gangs of Wasseypur, Zeishan said, "Had I had my way, there wouldn't have been any character of Perpendicular...I wanted to play both Definite and Perpendicular. But to do justice to myself and my audience, the character of Definite suited me best...so I did it. I have to be honest for my life -- for myself and for the art of acting.
Born to Syed Imran Quadri, a civil engineer who works for Eastern Coalfields, Zeishan Quadri grew up in Wasseypur, Dhanbad. Talking about his life in Wasseypur, Zeishan said, "I grew up watching the real story of the gangs of Wasseypur. The most common gossip in my childhood was about crime. There were days when our school was closed because of someone getting murdered."
The actor-writer further adds, "After the release of the film, the crime is in control but not up to the mark. The politicians and administrators there consider the whole issue as a joke and do not care much to improve the situation. Jab tak administration kadak nai hoti, (Unless the administration turns stricter) you can't hope for better things. Politicians to sudharne se rahe (Politicians will never improve)."
Revolver Rani: Zeishan Quadri is playing a role in Kangna Ranaut starrer Revolver Rani, a female-centric film that goes on the floors in March. The movie is directed by Sai Kabir and co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Rahul Mittra.
Rom com: Zeishan Quadri says, "A huge, huge producer asked me to write a romantic movie....i said, " Yaar mat likhwao mujhse...interval me ladka ladki ko ya ladki ladke ko goli maar dega" (Don't ask me to write a romantic movie. My hero or heroine will kill the other one before the interval.).
However, on a serious note, he adds that he is working on a script for a rom-com that is likely to be released next year. It is a story based in Rajasthan. The movie is about a small town boy who is past the marriage age for his society. The movie revolves around the man and how he convinces his father for the marriage a girl in his life.
RocknRoll: RocknRoll is a dark satire and has Mumbai as its backdrop. Zeishan Quadri plays Pack in the movie.
Know Zeishan Quadri
Favourite Hero: Salman Khan. I think I am very much like him.
Favourite Heroine: Uma Thurman. Aaj bhi mere dimaag me ghoomti hai (Her image is engraved in my mind.)
What is romance for you? No idea of romance for me. I just want to be working, acting and writing... That's what I love. Appreciation is also important.
Dream: Sab mere peeche bhaagein aur mai yaha se bhaag jaau. Aur aisa bhaagu ke mujhe bhi pata na ho kaha bhaagun. (Everyone is running after me and I have disappeared into oblivion). On a serious note, I love cinema and want to work for cinema. Accha kaam karta rahun, appreciation milta rahe (I want to continue doing good work in cinema and receive appreciation and love from the audience.)
Model: I look up to my dad.