Interview: Actor Adil Hussain talks about Footprints on Water and shares a secret about Akshay Kumar
Actor Adil Hussain is straddling the world of independent and mainstream films with élan
All that Adil Hussain has aimed for in 30 years of his acting career is to reprise characters with empathy. “Acting is not about technique but about life and deep empathy towards people. When you practise that, you can see the world from a billion points of view and embody the emotions rightly. This profession has helped me become larger, wider, deeper, non-judgmental, vulnerable and defenceless,” the actor reflects. Adil, who will turn 58 this October 5, is getting praises for his act as the head of RAW in Akshay Kumar starrer Bell Bottom, that’s currently running successfully in theatres.
On a whirlwind work trip to Kolkata, Adil took out time for Indulge to update us about his upcoming work besides sharing a well-kept secret about Akshay Kumar. Excerpts.
How did you cope with the pandemic?
The period has been extremely overwhelming and bizarre, but I also learnt a lot. I got a lot of time to reflect and look closely at everything and it resulted in a consumption check right from the usage of water to buying clothes. But most importantly, I spent time with my son Kabir and wife Kristen. I was away for work since he was born and in these couple of years, I realised I didn’t know him at all. I am now trying to understand what he wants and what he feels. I also watched a lot of good movies curated right from 1936 to date by my acting teacher Swapan Basu.
And you also worked a lot?
Yes, I feel I am one of the luckiest actors to shoot the first film post lockdown in the world (Bell Bottom) which is currently doing very well at the box office. I also finished filming for debutante filmmaker Nathalia Syam’s Footprints on Water that has been shot in the UK.
After Good Newwz; Bell Bottom is your second film with Akshay Kumar. How is he as a co-actor?
He is so funny and witty, always cracking jokes on the sets. And he is extremely good in sleight of hand. Once while shooting, just before our shot together, he shook my hands and managed to pinch my wristwatch. It was only when the spot boy pointed out the look break that I realised. He’s a real prankster. Also, he is very punctual, sincere, comes early for shoots, wakes up at 3.30-4 in the morning and goes to sleep at 9 pm. He has no tantrums and hardly goes back to his vanity van during shooting.
Tell us about Footprints on Water?
I play Raghu, a Bihari who migrates to Kerala and then goes to the UK along with his second wife and daughter in search of a better life. He is one of the thousands of Asians who stay back in the UK illegally. The story shows the plight and misery of Raghu when he sets about in search of his missing daughter without the help of the police.
Your upcoming projects?
There’s a series for Netflix that will be shot in Kolkata and Mumbai. There are two films; one will be filmed in Kerala and the other in the UK, besides a Bengali film. Also, I just filmed for another indie film where I am playing a dad dealing with my father and my son.
Bell Bottom is playing at a theatre near you.