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'Please do mess with me'

Henna Rakheja, April 18, 2013, DHNS: 22:12 IST

 Adil Hussain

Prior to Agent Vinod, life was very happening, content and extremely simple whereas after the film, it has become complicated,” asserts Adil Hussain, after having finally received his due in Bollywood.

When recently in the City, Adil spoke to Metrolife about how life has changed. “I now get very little time for myself and my family but it is also inspiring because my work has been recognised,” says the charming actor, clarifying that his late entry has been unintentional.
“I was happy doing theatre and never felt the need to go look for work in films. I was busy, happy and content. Now I am acting in front of the camera which has a massive reach.” Life of Pi was the key turning point for Adil.

Those who love his screen image, would be pleasantly surprised to note that Adil is exactly the opposite in real life. “I love to be messed with, please do mess with me,” he laughs, when asked about his don’t-mess-with-me characters in women-centric films like Ishqiya and English Vinglish. He prefers roles which are multi-dimensional and “churn the hell out of me because they give me something to munch on.”

Barring the genre, his choice has been obvious as almost all his films have been either multi-starrers or women oriented. “I had chosen these movies because I felt they are interesting roles, with interesting people and directors. But the directors also thought that I could do justice to them. Most of the directors I have worked with love making films including Sriram Raghavan (his director in Agent Vinod). I love acting in films with first timers because they are so passionate and give a 100 per cent to make the project work, like Gauri Shinde.”

However, the fact that his every move is now being observed, bogs him down. “It is frightening. People are thinking, ab kya karega banda? But I call it a gift because if you are expecting something from me, you are gifting me the potential to grow as an actor. I take it as an opportunity and at the same time find it challenging. I don’t plan, somebody else plans and I fit into it. They make plays and films and I am called to act in them,” he says matter-of-factly.

This humility and confidence is not newly found. He was as confident about his work when as a child he performed in front of his house! “There used to be two great comedians who would come every year in April and perform in front of my house. I was mesmerised by their performance and started mimicking them and my friends and neighbours became my audience.”

Born and brought up in the vibrant cultural of Assam, there has been no looking back as Adil has made it big, both nationally and internationally. While his recent film, Lessons in Forgetting has bagged a National Award, Life of Pi has received laurels at Oscars.
But he finds both Bollywood and Hollywood “true”. “So far, all productions apart from one, which I will not name, have been wonderful but the difference is quite often found in productions like Life of Pi which have hi-end production planning. This is Hollywood’s forte as it is extremely meticulous in planning. This makes a huge difference in how comfortable you are in terms of acting because you are a part of production!”

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