Cross-border affair

Pakistani actress Humaima Malick is excited to step in to the Hindi film industry with Raja Natwarlal opposite Emraan Hashmi. In an exclusive chat, she talks about bagging the project, playing a bar dancer and why she was keen to work in Bollywood

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai | Published:August 1, 2014 1:00 am
Humaima Malick Humaima Malick

Launch vehicle 

In Raja Natwarlal, I will be seen playing Zia, Raja’s (Emraan Hashmi) love interest. She is a woman of substance, who is extremely strong and will go to any extent to make sure that she saves her love from any kind of evil forces. She wants to get married, have kids and live in a happy, simple space. She works as a bar dancer and for Raja, the biggest challenge is to earn enough money, in order to get Zia out of the mess.

Casting coup

I was travelling, when someone from UTV Motion Pictures gave me a call and asked me to come down to India for a meeting. Although I knew that Kunal Deshmukh was directing the film, I wasn’t informed about the lead actor. When I met the casting director, he gave a long sheet of dialogues. He asked me to go home, rehearse and come back for an audition the next day. But I refused and insisted on enacting the scene on the same day. A look-test without make-up was conducted the next day. I went back, after which close to 100 more girls were auditioned. Finally, after a good three months, I was very happy to receive a confirmation call, informing that I have been selected.

Stepping stone

I was born and raised in Pakistan, where I completed my school and college education. My journey in the glamour world began quite early, when I first walked the ramp at the age of 14. After that, I did several popular television shows in Pakistan for almost three years. But it was only after my first film Bol (an Urdu project produced in Pakistan which was critically acclaimed) that I earned recognition. But as most actors, I was keen to explore other film industries and India definitely topped my priority list.

First shot

Unlike other debutants, I wasn’t really nervous. I love being in front of the camera and was very much looking forward to start working on this project. Main ruki thi ki kab scene shuru hoga aur kab director clap denge. The first day was all good. However, I was nervous before meeting Emraan at his house for the script reading session and was wondering how things will go. But during the course, I realised that he is a thorough professional and focused only on his work.

The takeaway

The biggest learning experience for me during this film was patience. It’s not easy for an individual to work in a new country and start from the scratch, especially when you are an established star in your own country. Every day on the set was like a learning process. Emraan taught me a lot of professionalism.

Stumbling block

There was no stumbling block or hurdle as such. Kunal was very sorted and all of us knew what we had to do.

Role model

My mother, because, she has raised all her six children very gracefully. She is a beautiful lady, has a clean heart and is extremely strong. She taught me to be grounded and always stay real, instead of losing my identity. On screen, I am a huge fan of Madhuri Dixit Nene, who emotes and performs very well. I am excited to meet her on the sets of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

Future projects

I have a project with Vidhu Vinod Chopra, which was earlier titled Chitthiyan, but I am not too sure about when we will actually start shooting. Apart from that, I am doing a Persian and an Iranian film.

priya.adivarekar@expressindia.com

 

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