This year, Adil Hussain was seen playing a frustrated, overworked son to a father who is desperately seeking salvation in critically-acclaimed Mukti Bhawan. Next, he will be seen in Rajinikanth’s much-awaited 2.0 and Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaari.
The 54-year-old actor says like any other artiste, he takes up some projects to pay his bills and some to satisfy his inner voice. In an interview with PTI, Hussain says, “Aiyaari and 2.0 are those small, tiny roles that I’m doing to pay my bills. Films like Mukti Bhawan don’t pay me. So I have to sort of balance it – some for bill, some for dil (heart).”
The actor, who won the National Award (Special Jury Mention) this year for the Shubhashish Bhutiani- directed movie, says after constantly working in films for over eight years, he is in a good headspace right now, ready to devote some time to his first passion — theatre. Adil Hussain’s next stage project will be a one-man act narrating the gist of the Bhagavad Gita. He will play both Krishna and Arjuna with casting director Dilip Shankar, with whom the actor has earlier worked in films such as The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Life of Pi.
The actor says, “I’m ready to take the plunge. But, hands down, it will be a big shift from being a lazy film actor on the sets to theatre. I’ll have to retrain myself to go back to the medium. But somehow I have managed to make myself comfortable with it. It’s my training that helps me switch on and switch off.”
He has been a sought-after name in Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi and Malayalam films. But it was only in 2012 when he shot for the Bengali film Sunrise that Hussain stopped worrying about being a good actor. “With each role I used to be really stressed till 2012. I felt I had to do good. So my teacher in Puducherry said, ‘I know you’re good but that’s not enough, is it?’ I answered in affirmative and asked him how to go beyond that.”
The actor said being true to the craft rather than being good at it helped him overcome his fear. “Why didn’t I attempt it before? It’s like you’re jumping off the cliff and there are just two possibilities – you die or you fly. So that has been happening since I did a play and the film ‘Sunrise’ – I had no idea. The burden of being good has left my shoulders only recently.”
Hussain will be seen in an intense film, Love, Soniya, which stars Lion child actor, Sunny Pawar and Freida Pinto. The actor also has Deb Medhekar’s directorial debut Bioscopewala, which is a modern adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Kabuliwala’ with veteran actor Danny Denzongpa in the title role.
“I play Mini’s father in the film. It’s a character inspired by photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta,” he says.