There’s new talent in town and he’s ready to take Bollywood by storm. Hanif Hilal, who has established a name for himself in the modelling circuit, is all set to make his cinematic debut in Ajay Chandhok’s latest film ‘Hey Bro’.
The actor will star alongside Ganesh Acharya, Maninder Singh and a host of guest stars including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Prabhu Deva, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh. While most newcomers take the safest possible route and start out as protagonists or side-kicks, Hanif has decided to take a chance and debut in a negative role.
“When I took up this film, friends in the industry asked me why I’m starting out with a negative role. My motto has always been – when most people say ‘why’, I say ‘why not’. Why follow a routine that has already been tried and tested? When Ajay spoke to me about the film, he said that I would be introduced unlike any other villain before...and this is true. In one of my scenes, I have 500 dancers behind me! That’s something that’s usually saved for the hero and not the villain,” he says.
He will be seen doing some daring action sequences in the film. “There are some brilliant action sequences. For one of the scenes, it wasn’t supposed to rain but mid-way through the sequence it started pouring. So it turned into this action sequence in the rain, with granular effects to the shot.” He will be seen doing hand-to-hand combat, using guns and mingling with goons.
Is Hanif a fighter in real life too? “I have never gotten into a fist fight before. I have helped my friends and got beaten, of course, but I’ve never started anything on my own.”
What is Hanif like then? “I’m quite a proactive guy. If there’s nothing to look forward to, no work, then I chill out. Otherwise, I like to be on my feet. And I make sure I pace myself, but there are some days when I’d like to finish work quickly.”
How did he land this role? “I’ve been in Mumbai for seven years now. I have believed in myself but it’s more important for people to believe in me. I met Ganesh (Acharya) on a dance reality show and he said he would suggest my name for ‘ABCD: Any Body Can Dance’, but that didn’t work out. After that, we lost contact. Even after a few years had gone by, he remembered me and suggested my name for ‘Hey Bro’ and I accepted.”
There are two words that help him live his life – ‘rich’ and ‘easy’. “When I say I like the word ‘rich’, I don’t mean in terms of finances. I mean rich in colour, personality and thoughts. If someone were to look dapper, I would call them ‘rich’. And ‘easy’ because that’s what we are trying to achieve – everything has to be easy and comfortable. ‘Easy’ also in terms of peace of mind,” he says. Has he achieved “peace of mind”? “I’m trying to.
But I know I will succeed. I’ve realised that I’m a calm person in general,” he ends.