Huma Qureshi says feminism was first seen as a dirty word, but the attitude towards it is slowly changing. The actress, who spoke about the representation of women in media and gender equality at the UN headquarters in New York in March, feels feminism stands for equality for many.
“I think worldwide, feminism was first seen as a dirty word. But now feminism is seen as a word which is about equality. This is about giving equal options to everyone. India is no different from the west. We also looked at it in a certain way and now it is completely different,” Huma told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.
When it comes to gender disparity at the workplace, Huma said: “More women in work space means more security for women. I am all for that. I think things are changing slowly, but surely they are changing for the better.” From Gangs of Wasseypur, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, Ek Thi Daayan, Dedh Ishqiya to Jolly LLB 2, Huma takes up strong female characters in films. And it doesn’t happen by fluke.
“It is a part conscious and part luck. I want to see interesting and strong characters and I am lucky enough that the directors and makers are doing such kind of projects with me. So it is a mix of all.” After doing some short films, Huma, who hails from Delhi, came into the spotlight with Anurag Kashyap’s dark thriller Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2 in 2012. Since then, it has been a case of hit and miss in Bollywood.
She has delivered hits like Ek Thi Daayan, Badlapur and Jolly LLB 2, but failed to generate the expected response with films like Dedh Ishqiya and D-Day. The films might have missed hitting the spot at the box office, but she made the right noises with her performances. At the moment, Huma is looking forward to horror film Dobaara: See Your Evil, in which she features with her brother Saqib Saleem. Directed by Prawaal Raman, the film also features Lisa Ray, Adil Hussain among others and is slated to release on June 2.
Talking about the film, Huma said: “It is a very special film because we are acting together for the first time. We never thought that we will get an opportunity to act in a film together so early in our career. We are very excited about that.” Huma says shooting with her brother was different.
“Saqib is very sensitive as a co-star. He is very involved with everything and hard working. It was a great pleasure to work with him. I discovered new aspects to Saqib’s personality that I didn’t know. I understand him better as a co-star than a sister.” Dobaara: See Your Evil is an official remake of the Hollywood film Oculus, which released in 2013. The Mike Fangan supernatural psychological horror film stars Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites.
It revolves around a young woman who is convinced that an antique mirror is responsible for the death and misfortune that her family suffered. The actress says it is better to go for official adaptation than just lifting ideas without crediting the source. “We are very proud that we did not steal it. A lot of people lift ideas from a lot of stories and try to pass it on as their own,” she said.
Huma is also excited for filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, which is yet to release in India. There are also reports of her being roped in to play superstar Rajinikanth’s love interest in a new project, but she prefers to remain mum on it. The makers will give out a statement soon, she said.