Waiting to prove his comic chops, actor Adil Hussain talks about the upcoming Zed Plus and lessons from the West
Adil Hussain adds to the list of offbeat and unorthodox actors in Bollywood. Having created an impression as Vidya Balan’s husband in Ishqiya, Hussain got our attention with his performance as Sridevi’s insensitive husband in English Vinglish. And by the time movies like Agent Vinod, Lootera and The Xpose released, he had become a recognisable face. His collaborations with the West started with Oscar-nominated director Ang Lee (for Life of Pi), followed by editor Russell Carpenter of Titanic fame who is working on his upcoming film, Parched. But the 51-year-old is busy these days promoting his political satire, Zed Plus. Set in Fatehpur—a small town in Rajasthan, the story revolves around the Prime Minister who meets a ‘puncturewala’— Aslam (Hussain), and ends up giving him Zed security. “I haven’t done a role of this sort before. Having lived in the city all my life it was very challenging playing a vulnerable man,” begins the actor.
State of Bollywood
One of the most anticipated movies of the year after PK, the poster of the film has Hussain carrying a lota (vessel) with security personnel behind him. “It is hilarious because there are no bathrooms, so you go in the open and even there the security follows him. Though I started my career with stand-up comedy, I have never been offered comedy. I am glad the director saw my background and chose me,” shares the Assam-born actor. Having chosen offbeat films, Hussain explores the difference between Bollywood and Hindi films, “I think English Vinglish was a Hindi film,but Rangeela was a Bollywood film. I’m not fond of the typical Bollywood film. I might not like Japanese food but that does not make Japanese food bad. So my opinion does not diminish the validity and quality of Bollywood. It just doesn’t appeal to me.”
Back to roots
Hussain loves trying different genres—from thrillers, horror to dark intense roles. “As an actor, I want to explore all the aspects of acting. I like anything from Jesus to Hitler and the phase in between,” he says. Expanding his horizons, the actor will soon turn director with an Assamese film, which is based on the relationship between a man and a wild elephant. As for the lessons he picked up from the West, Hussain says, “There is a lot of importance given to production planning. The space an actor gets to prepare for the role is fantastic. In fact, actors are paid not to do anything for two months and just concentrate on their role.”
Zed Plus is scheduled to release on November 21.
Feast of Varanasi, shot by UK-based director, Rajan Kumar Patel Tigers, produced by French company, ASAP Films, and India-based Sikhya Entertainment Main Aur Charles, directed by Prawaal Raman Parched by Nina Yadav and edited
by Russell Carpenter
— Mrinalini Sundar