Actor Huma Qureshi is making her international debut with Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Viceroy’s House’ and says she has put her heart and soul in the ‘moving’ tale of the India-Pakistan partition. Directed by British-Indian Gurinder, ‘Viceroy’s House’ set in 1947, revolves around the story of partition and the human impact due to it.
“It is a very special film which has taken a lot from me... I have put my heart and soul into it,” Huma said. The film headlined by Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Huma and Manish Dayal will see the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ actor essay the role of Aalia, a Muslim, falling for a Hindu boy, Jeet (Manish) who works at the Viceroy’s House but they are ripped apart as borderlines are redrawn.
“It’s about Partition and a love story which happens when the last Viceroy comes to India, when it is about to be granted independence and divided into two. There is a Hindu servant and a Muslim translator who work in a household when the country is burning. It’s a very touching topic,” Huma says.
Hugh plays the role of Lord Mountbatten, the man charged with handing India back to Indians and Huma is his Muslim interpreter.
The ‘Badlapur’ actor was fascinated with the story of her international debut film, apart from being awestruck with Gurinder’s previous films.
“I was very excited to do the film because Gurinder is a celebrated director. Her work has always fascinated me. But apart from that, she is a Punjabi-Indian who is a British citizen, making an Indo-British film about the Partition,” says Huma, adding, “And she is a woman. So I was like how is all of this going to add up. When I read the script I realised I have to do it. This has to be done. She has made a beautiful, moving, very sensitive film.”
Huma says the film will be dubbed in Hindi as well so that it reaches a wider audience during its India release.
“I really want many people to watch it. We are doing a Hindi dub for it as well because the film is completely in English. It is touring festivals and has snowballed into something else. I am thrilled about it.”
The movie, currently in UK cinemas, will be released in India in August this year to coincide with the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.