'Theatre entertains the soul'

multiple mediums

'Theatre entertains the soul'

Adil Hussain has a very clear idea on what it means to be an actor. Metrolife caught up with him to find out his views on films, theatre and more.

Adil, who’s known for his roles in international projects like ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The
Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as well as Indian movies like English Vinglish and the latest Lootera, feels that there are stark differences between international film industries and Indian cinema. “There is no sab kuch chalta hai attitude in international industries. People strive for excellence there and everything is well-planned. There is a noticeable precision in every department of film-making also,” he says.

Having worked in stand-up comedy, theatre and films, Adil states that each of these differ in terms of equation, performers and audience. “In theatre, one gets to explore and prepare more than in a film. Theatre is an old art form, dating back nearly 1,000 years, while films have been around for around 100 years. Films have to evolve a lot — the industry is still in its infancy,” he comments. Elaborating on the impact of theatre in today’s times, he says, “The impact of theatre is still the same, with a real-time audience. But people have more options to be entertained with. Theatre entertains the soul unlike films, which continue to fool and tickle different sensations in people.”

He adds that despite performing ‘Othello: A Play in Black and White’ for ten years, each time on stage was a different experience. “Just like we have different dreams everyday, so is the performance different everyday. That is the fun about theatre — it’s
an ephemeral experience unlike films, which are shot and circulate forever.”

Adil is intrigued by the Bhagvad Gita and is working with Dilip Shankar on a project based on the dialogue between Arjun and Krishna. “This kind of dialogue is
something which will benefit today’s fast-moving times,” he states. His other upcoming project, ‘Bad’, is based on a criminal.

Talking about the experience of acting with Sridevi in English Vinglish, he says,
“I’ve always been her fan. She reclaims the professionalism and spontaneity that she was known for.” Acting with newer actors is another ball game, but an interesting one too, he feels. In Lootera, he acts with Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh. Adil feels that Sonakshi was very respectful and appreciates the acting skills of both the artistes.

Ask Adil what he looks for in a role and he replies, “Anything that is difficult and challenging and something I wouldn’t know how to do is something I would
like to work on.”

So how often is Adil in the City? “Not so often,” he replies. “I’ve lived in Bangalore in 1996 and 2007. I find an amazing warmth in the people here. The people of Bangalore and South India have a basic decency that cannot always be seen in the North of the country.”

When not keeping busy with projects, Adil cooks. “I love experimenting with all sorts of cuisines. I love the traditional cuisines like Bengali and Assamese food, but I’ve also started making Kashmiri non-vegetarian food. I cook for my wife and son, and when they appreciate my cooking I feel more encouraged,” he wraps up.

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