“Delhi’s theatre scene is richer than Mumbai’s,” says actor Adil Hussain who was recently seen in the short film Chutney along with Tisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal. “I find Delhi’s theatre much more experimental. It explores the art of theatre, and exhibitions and international performances across the globe. The exposure to different kinds of art forms is a great way to learn about art, theatre and acting,” he adds.
Based in Delhi, Hussain studied at the National School of Drama in the 90’s,—a time which was instrumental in shaping his career. “NSD is one place where I felt completely renewed as a person and as an actor. A rebirth happened as I had amazing teachers from different parts of the country and the world,” he shares.
“I find Delhi’s theatre much more experimental. It explores the art of theatre, from exhibitions and international performances across the globe. The exposure to different kinds of art forms is a great way to learn about art theatre and acting.”—Adil Hussain
Hussain, who has been in Delhi since 2008, prefers local markets over malls. “Markets lend more character. My favourites are GK M Block, Jor Bagh, Hauz Khas. These are the places where Delhi looks like Delhi.” “I find Connaught Place is still maintained, although it has been modernised,” he adds.
His film Chutney, which was primarily shot in Chandni Chowk and Gurgaon, has received rave reviews and has crossed over 17 million views on YouTube. Despite his small role in the film, Hussain is happy with how the film has turned out. “I am happy and proud that I am a part of this film. It’s working well. The story has appealed to people. Tisca and Rasika, the two protagonists of the film, are amazing women. I am glad that the two held the film,” he says.
We ask if mainstream actors lending their support is the reason behind its soaring popularity? Hussain feels that both the artistic side and commercial side has been balanced well in the film. “The main reason behind the surge in short film making is artist freedom. When you make a feature film, many things are at stake ranging from money, producers influences, stars dates, post production, marketing, its a huge endeavour. In a short film, director, actors and technicians they have to put in as little effort as they can. And they have the liberty to do something they really want to do. Since it is on digital medium and it had been a great platform for companies to advertise. So they are getting their views and spending little money,” says Hussain.
The short film Chutney, starring Adil Hussain, Tisca Chopra, and Rasika Dugal has received rave reviews.
Not just more short films, but the actor will soon be seen in a web series as well. “A lot of web series are being made. And a lot of them are sent to me for me to look at. I find them extremely interesting. And I have agreed to do one. But I can’t talk about it.”
Popular for his roles in English Vinglish(2012), Life Of Pi(2012),Hussain shares that he always wanted to be an actor and by eighth standard he had it all figured out. Stand up comedy, theatre,documentaries, television, street plays, he left no stone unturned to explore his talent. “I was the family comedian. And mimicry came naturally to me. Bachchan saheb, Shatrugan Sinha, Raj Kapoor, Raj Kumar were very popular. We formed a group in 1985 called the Bhaya Mama group and became popular in Assam. I have been into acting since I was seven-years-old. Hindi films happened without a plan. Assam unlike other states, is very culturally vibrant with activities such as theatre, music, folk dances and classical dance forms,” he says.