Pride Month: Sushant Divgikr, Mozez Singh, Apurva Asrani, Rick Roy reveal their favourite Hindi queer character - Hindustan Times

Pride Month: Sushant Divgikr, Mozez Singh, Apurva Asrani, Rick Roy reveal their favourite Hindi queer character

ByAkash Bhatnagar
Jun 01, 2024 10:27 AM IST

As Pride Month begins today, Sushant Divgikr, Rick Roy, Mozez Singh, Apurva Asrani reveal their favourite queer character in Hindi films or OTT

Pride Month celebrates and acknowledges the different colours of the human personality. Over the years, Bollywood has moved from caricaturish characters to sensitive portrayals of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, the battle isn’t won until the people who belong to the community feel they have been represented well on screen. This pride month, we reached out to some openly queer people in the industry, who revealed the characters from Hindi films and OTT that they felt served the purpose of representation on screen in the right way.

Pride Month: Sushant Divgikr, Mozez Singh, Apurva Asrani, Rick Roy reveal their favourite Hindi queer character
Pride Month: Sushant Divgikr, Mozez Singh, Apurva Asrani, Rick Roy reveal their favourite Hindi queer character

Mozez Singh

Manoj Bajpayee as professor Siras was absolutely sublime in Aligarh. He brought a deep and heartfelt sensitivity to his performance, along with a nakedness that revealed all parts of him in glorious ways. The brilliant professor and the lonely closeted gay man merged together in a way that was so relatable, honest and true. And then, as he was exposed, he also found the strength to finally become the man who he had ought to be. His resilience to rise is something that is very common in the queer community. When hated and prejudiced upon, there are so many shining examples, worldwide, of queer people who have risen like phoenix and taken on the world, even as the world keeps fighting to keep them down.

Rick Roy

The characters that depicted queer people correctly on the big screen would be Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar in Badhaai Do. They showcased more of the struggle that queer people go through and how they are pressured to cope with it in ways that are not fair or that force them to be dishonest because it seems to be the only solution available. It was a beautiful and quite realistic depiction of how people are forced to create fake relationships to hide the real ones because of the fear of rejection by society and loved ones. I also love Arjun Mathur’s character in Made Iin Heaven as it depicted a darker tone of a queer person's life which is also a brilliant, and unfortunately, a realistic depiction of many queer people who make wrong decisions not out of choice but as a coping mechanism to deal with the rejection from loved ones.

Apurva Asrani

There are a very few queer characters in Indian media that felt authentic to me. Many of our queer characters are written and directed by straight people, so as good as their intentions maybe, they end up feeling like the queer equivalent of 'mansplaining.' My Brother Nikhil in 2005 was done with great sensitivity, Kalki Koechlin in Margarita with a Straw was lovely. I'd like to say Professor Siras in Aligarh & Karan Mehra in Made In Heaven were authentic & sensitive, but I worked on both, so I probably won't be objective. I liked the queer sensitivity in Badhaai Do. Still, I feel like the representation overall isn't enough. We need more mainstream queer characters who headline a film or a series, but whose sexuality is incidental and does not overshadow the story.

Sushant Divgikr

There have been a couple of good portrayals of queer characters, that are very nuanced but aren’t from the mainstream films, but I wish they were played by queer actors. I loved the role Nandita Das played in Fire and what Purab Kohli and Sanjay Suri brought to My Brother Nikhil. The latter is especially because the film was conceptualised by an openly gay person, Onir. When there are queer characters written and thought about by queer people, it automatically brings a more thought about character to life, as opposed to the caricaturish portrayals that are only for comical relief. Over the years, there have been horrible representation of transgender people in films, and I think that is changing now. I got to beautifully bring out both Rahul and Anjali in my character in Thank You For Coming. It was the first time ever a transgender person was given the respect to let them sing their own song on the big screen. I also want to give a special mention to Rajesh Khattar who played a beautiful gay character in Murder in Mahim.

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