Adil Hussain: Bollywood can redeem itself by casting a Northeast actor to play Mirabai Chanu
It won’t be long before a biopic is announced on the life of Indian weightlifter, and now an Olympic silver medallist, Mirabai Chanu. She has made the country proud, and her journey would certainly make for an interesting watch.
The casting is something, which actor Adil Hussain would keenly look forward to. Reason? In the past, there was a biopic, Mary Kom, made on the life of the Indian boxer from Manipur. Hussain has maintained ever since that an actor from the Northeast should have been cast in the lead role, which was eventually played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
“I’d have definitely preferred someone from Northeast. This isn’t at all a judgement on Priyanka, she’s a very accomplished artiste. First of all, Bollywood isn’t a family or mafia, it’s a stupid name actually given by some unimaginative people, it’s not original. I’m saying that the Hindi film industry lost an opportunity,” says the actor.
Hussain, 57, explains that it was a chance to introduce “amazing faces” and people from the inner parts to the masses of India. “If someone makes a movie on Mirabai Chanu, I’m sure they’d be more imaginative and cast someone from the Northeast,” he hopes.
The Pareeksha (2019) actor believes that this would be the industry’s chance to redeem itself. He continues, “I hope they do it and make the right choice, They should make the film so well so they don’t have to invest in a star, like Ang Lee did in Life of Pi (2012), it earned a billion dollars.”
Hailing from Goalpara, Assam, the actor feels that Chanu’s achievement is very crucial, as it gives hope to people in Northeast the most.
“Northeast is always neglected by mainland India — politically and economically, we’re still to be assimilated and looked at as part of India by a lot of common people, who think that people especially from Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram are Chinese,” admits Hussain.
According to him, it’s quite something for someone to even dream of going to a National level.
He elaborates, “I heard in an interview of one of Chanu’s coaches. She had worked with him in America, because she was injured. He described her as the most dedicated, hard working person, who followed all instructions. That’s the quality of people in the Northeast, when they want to do something, they do it. I feel emotionally charged.”