Rajinikanth’s kindhearted, he made me so comfortable around him: Huma Qureshi on Kaala
Huma Qureshi, who will next be seen in Kaala, said the experience of working with Rajinikanth will reflect in her work long after the movie is out.
Rajinikanth will be back on the big screen after a hiatus of nearly two years after his last release, 2016’s Kabali. Directed by Pa Ranjith, his latest, Kaala, is primarily a Tamil film but will be released in Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi as well. To ensure that it has pan-India appeal, the makers roped in a host of Bollywood stars such as Nana Patekar, Pankaj Tripathi and Huma Qureshi.
Days before its release on June 7, Huma Qureshi opened up about her experience working in the film and more importantly, the lasting influence Rajinikanth had on her. Speaking to Mid Day, she said that Rajinikanth is a kindhearted and disciplined human being.
“He is such a simple human being! He doesn’t take stardom seriously, is disciplined and kindhearted. He made me so comfortable around him. He is a spiritual man, and has a calming effect on everyone around him. Once you meet him, there is no question of being intimidated by him. I can’t begin to quantify what I’ve learnt from him. It’s an experience that will reflect in my work long after the movie is out,” Mid Day quoted her as saying.
Huma plays a character called Zarina in the film, whom the audience will see age from 20 to 50. Explaining how it was a totally new experience for her, she said she took it up as a challenge and followed her director Pa Ranjith’s instructions. “The beauty of my character, Zareena, is that it’s layered and nuanced. I have never done anything like this before.”
Shooting in Dharavi - the film’s setting - was also quite an experience for Huma. She explained how her life in Bandra (an upscale neighbourhood of Mumbai) was so different from Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, also in Mumbai. The parallel worlds were, understandably, a revelation for her as she was shooting in a slum for the first time in her life.
Shooting there last year during Ramzan, she was witness to its crazy chaos, and its throbbing energy. She explained how it was a complex place, where different cultures converged with people from different backgrounds living together. She also noticed how there were specific Tamil theatres and how some signboards were in specific South Indian languages.
Kaala, which will see Rajinikanth in a role of a slum lord-turned-gangster, faced its first major hurdle after the Karnataka Film Chambers Of Commerce said it would not allow the release of the film in the state. They are angry with Rajinikanth’s statement on the Cauvery dispute, in which he asked for the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling.
A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in February this year had declared that Karnataka would be required to release 177.25 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water to Tamil Nadu. The earlier requirement, under a February 2007 award by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), was 192 tmcft. The Supreme Court’s February 16 order reduced the quantity of water Karnataka was asked to supply to Tamil Nadu by 14.75 tmc and was largely seen as fair. Karnataka, which suffered a severe drought in 2017, isn’t keen on it while Tamil Nadu wants the order to be implemented. Both states have sparred over sharing the river’s water for almost a century.
The actor has a great fan following in Karnataka, especially Bengaluru and Kolar, where there is a sizable Tamil population.
(With PTI inputs)
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