Actor Huma Qureshi has been active in Bollywood for the past five years. She came into the limelight with the 2012 blockbuster Gangs of Wasseypur, and then was part of films such as D-Day and the fairly recent Jolly LLB 2.
Although she is well known now, there was a time when Huma was trying to make a name for herself. Speaking to Hindustan Times, the actor reminisced about her initial days in the industry and her struggle to stardom.
“I was asked to change my name when I was offered my first project. I was told there was a Pakistani actor with the same name and that I wouldn’t want that association, more so since I wanted to be the leading lady in the film. I was like, ‘I am not going to do that. I will always be Huma Qureshi and people will have to deal with that’,” revealed the star, who will next be seen alongside superstar Rajinikanth in a film directed by Pa Ranjith.
Huma also recalled how she started getting endorsements soon as she reached Mumbai. “I started getting a lot of work once I came to Mumbai. I was working with some of the biggest ad filmmakers. But I had to give auditions,” she said.
“There would be days when I’d pack a dabba in the morning and head out. I remember this Gujarati auntie would pack my tiffin because I wanted to eat ghar ka khana [homemade food]. Casting agents would send us messages like, ‘Today’s look Indian or Western’. And then, we’d pack a big bag with all our changing options and go to places that we hadn’t even heard of. Then we’d go and change in some dingy casting agent’s studio and give the audition. Sometimes we were rejected — you have to take all sorts of comments from people. It was hard, new, and challenging.”
The Badlapur actor feels Bollywood is ‘quite heady’ and it is very difficult to brace oneself for the journey in the industry. “I was prepared in my own way about the constant public scrutiny. But the industry is quite heady. You can’t really prepare for it.” The actor, who was last seen in horror film Dobaara: See Your Evil, revealed she tries to focus on her work and do the best that she possibly can.
On the career front, Huma believes in taking ‘things as they come’. She is also harbouring Hollywood dreams. When asked if she wants to head to the West, the actor said, “Hopefully. I’m waiting for the right film and right script to come along.” She even auditioned for the third instalment of The Mummy franchise last year.
Story first published: 20th June 2017