I reached the Courthouse Hotel in London well on time to meet Huma Qureshi, who got a thrust in her fame after doing Anurag Kashyap’s gangster epic ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. In it she plays the role of ‘Mohsina’, the wife of a serious and tragic gangster ‘Faisal Khan’, played by Nawazzudin Siddiqui.

As i entered the room where she was seated, i greeted her and she very warmly accepted my greeings with a hearty smile. once i got seated, we started our little conversation.

The London Tree: Hello, How are you? How do you find London?
Huma Qureshi: I’m good. London is as always fun and exciting with lots of people and too many things to do. It’s a very vibrant city.
The London Tree: How did you discover acting?
Huma Qureshi: Acting was one of my hobbies as i was always intrigued with performing arts. It all started from school and college in which i took part in plays and dramatic activities. After that i went and joined a theatre in Delhi.
The London Tree: Your debut film is Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. How did Anurag discover you for the role?
Huma Qureshi: I moved to Bombay from Delhi where i got to do lots of television commercials. One of the commercials i did opposite Amir Khan was being directed by Anurag Kashyap. It was there that he found me. He liked my audition and the performance in the commercial It was a four day shoot, and on the second day he told me that he would love to cast me in a film, and that is literally how it happened.

The London Tree: I watched the making of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and in it Anurag said that he kept you in the dark all the time without letting you near the script.
Huma Qureshi: Yes that is true. There were two actors, me and Mr. Piyush Mishra who is the narrator in the film. We both were told that we will not read the script, so we had to take part in workshops to understand what we were doing. Eventually we did get to read the script . Our parts were not those which already existed because ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ is based on real life characters. Ours were the two characters which were added later as the film evolved. The main reason for us not getting to read the script was because Anurag didn’t want us to get influenced by other characters. Therefore, the parts where you see me acting opposite Nawazuddin are all improvised.

Huma Qureshi. All Rights Reserved: The London Tree

Huma Qureshi.
All Rights Reserved: The London Tree

The London Tree: You have now worked alongside Madhuri Dixit and Naseeruddin Shah who are themselves an institution of arts itself. What was the experience to work with them, did you get to learn alot?
Huma Qureshi: Absolutely, i’ve learned from every film and every co-star. Of course Madam Madhuri and Sir Naseeruddin Shah are both institutions of acting and performing arts. They are both wonderful human beings, very warm and very lovely to work with but belonging to two very different schools. I think that is the kind of film that ‘Dedh Ishqya’ was which needed actors from different schools wether it was Sir Naseeruddin, Madam Madhuri, me or Arshad. We were all different and distint personalities, and the main idea was to bring us all together. I have been very fortunate right from the first film ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ as i have almost worked with the best actors of our time, and as being a co-star i tend to look good when i am with them.
The London Tree: Your wardrobe in ‘Dedh Ishqya’ was quite impressive. How much do you play your part fashion wise in choosing your own outfits?
Huma Qureshi: It’s a marriage of both. We had ‘Payal’ I remember who was working on the ‘Dedh Ishqya’ costumes. She has worked alot with the Director Abhishek Chaubey and Vishal Bhardwaj. She brought forward her own ideas and did alot of research on the local textiles and tailors so that the real essence of the outfits could be brought out in the film. We sat together and went through a lot of fittings, trials and choosing of the colour palletes to see what colour would look good on Madam Madhuri and which one would suit me. It was not just about doing clothes, but infact it was to bring out the uniqueness in the two characters that me and Madam Madhuri play.

The London Tree: In The end of ‘Dedh Ishqya’ you do a little dancing with Madam Madhuri. We haven’t seen you dance that much. Did you learn from Madam Madhuri or you already know how to dance?
Huma Qureshi: We didn’t have much time, but i would love to learn dancing from Madhuri Dixit if that’s the question. She is the best dancer that we have in our country. As far as i am concerned i’m an OK dancer and haven’t had that much of an oppurtunity to dance in a film so damn! we really need to fix that. I promise you i would dance in my next film.
The London Tree: You have paired twice with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Once in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and then in ‘Badlapur’. What’s it like to work with him?
Huma Qureshi: He is amazing. He is very talented and effortless. He’s a kind of person who if he sits in the room, he would just sort of melt in with the furniture. Now that i know him a bit better he’s got a very crazy sense of humour and is very witty. He’s very observant about things and life which makes him a very good actor. Therefore workind with him is so effortless that now we just respond to each other. We don’t even need rehearsing.
The London Tree: You have now worked with your brother Saqeb Salim in ‘Zehnak’. Is there a rivalry between you two that who would show the best performance in the film?
Huma Qureshi: Saqeb and I are working in a remake of ‘Oculus’. We still haven’t given the film a name yet and are still figuring that out. It’s too early to give the film a name as it will be released next year, but the filming has been completed.
It’s been very competitive between me and Saqeb and that has i think helped out in making a good film. Competition always keeps the other actor on their toes because they don’t know what’s about to come their way. It’s also been a mind game between us because i always felt that he knows too much about me. Saqeb is a very sensitive co-star, and has been very co-operative towards my character which is a very emotional one which makes this filming experience a very special one for me.

Me with Huma Qureshi. All Rights Reserved: The London Tree

Me with Huma Qureshi.
All Rights Reserved: The London Tree

The London Tree: In the future do you see yourself going towards the super star status, or you just want to be known as a cinematic and threatical actor?
Huma Qureshi: Well, i want to be memorable, let’s put it like that. Of course as an actor you want to be remembered for what you’ve done, therefore which ever direction it will be i’m sure it will figure itself out. I don’t worry about these tags too much.
The London Tree: It was nice talking to you. I have lots of questions but unfortunately there’s not enough time to ask them all.
Huma Qureshi: It was lovely chatting with you too. Maybe next time we will have enough time.

‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ Trailer Courtesy of Viacom18 Motion Pictures

“Hamari Atariya” Full Video Song Courtesy of Shemaroo

‘Huma Qureshi talks of Gangs of Wasseypur, Madhuri Dixit, Naseerudin Shah and Nawazudin Siddiqui. ‘ is a video with All Rights Reserved: The London Tree done by Adnan Kundi

The Title picture and the Picture within the article are All Rights Reserved: The London Tree, and have been taken by Freelance Photographer: Adnan Kundi.

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