Inaamulhaq, best known for his roles as the General in ‘Airlift’ and the terrorist in ‘Jolly LLB 2’, plays a qaidi in Farhan Akhtar’s latest release, ‘Lucknow Central’.
We had the opportunity to interview this actor and realize how humble and confident he is. He also spoke about learning from the men Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Dialect has played a very important role for you in both your movies – Airlift as well as Jolly LLB 2. Can we expect the same from Lucknow Central? Does your role here also have a comic element?
Dialect has a direct connection with the character’s association with the place it belongs to. Films are set in backdrop of different places of the world, it is necessary to know about the locals out there, the language they use. We try and grip the same to make it look real on screen. Like you’ve seen my characters from ‘Filmistaan’, Aftab belongs to a particular place in Pakistan where locals make use of Punjabi mixed Urdu. Similarly Major Khalaf Bin Zayd has used its accent and the Kashmiri in ‘Jolly LLB 2’. So I try and work a lot on the dialect. Even in ‘Lucknow Central’ you notice a slight dialect but anything major since my character Dikkat Ansari belongs to UP. Coming to the comic element I have never tried to do any comedy. It is the situation that leads to comedy nothing else.
You have really stood out as an actor, even perhaps outshined Akshay in both the movies till an extent. In Lucknow Central too, it appears that you play a sort of important role. Would you like to comment on it?
Till now whatever I have done and all the love and affection I have received from the audience I feel my decisions have played a bigger role than my talent. There are more talented people than me in the industry but it all depends on the choice of projects picked. Till date whatever films I have done has been a conscious decision and has luckily been right. Not that I know the future of any script but yes I have been a writer and that helps me choose the right for myself. Working with bigger stars brings a lot of responsibility. There are more eyes on the stars on the screen than the others and so it becomes our responsibility to divert their attention towards us by giving the best performance. It takes a lot of hard work and I have been doing the same. Even in ‘Lucknow Central’ I play an altogether a new role as Dikkat Ansari and I am sure it will be appreciated like my other characters so far.
Don’t you feel it is the right time to become a poster face, since in these times, content-driven movies are being appreciated rather than a commercial star?
I am very thankful to God that from my very first film ‘Filmistaan’ I was on the poster and today on ‘Lucknow Central’ too. But if by poster face you mean the hero then according to me these days the story of the film is the hero. And the way things are working out for me the story is the hero and inshallah soon my train will come on the track of the poster face. The time is changing and people are more interested in content driven films. The starry films will have their co-existence as that’s the DNA of our industry but yes the ratio will change with time and actors like me will on the poster soon.
Did you inhibit something from Akshay/Farhan that you’ve kept with you, and it has helped you as an actor? What is it?
I have been lucky to have worked with people who are great human beings along with being brilliant actors. Be it Akshay Kumar or Farhan Akhtar I have always been supported as an actor and never felt that they are bigger stars or I have come from a completely different world. I have learnt a lot from both the actors, discipline from Akshay Kumar which we always keep reading and listening about him and to be focused is what I have learnt from Farhan Akhtar. We know Farhan is multi-talented, we’ve seen him as a producer, singer, etc. I have seen him focused on the sets towards acting. Learning all this gives you growth as actor and I am sure it will help me in future.
You are also a writer. You’ve written the script of Comedy Circus, and the dialogues for Bbudaah… Hoga Tera Baap. What got you into acting?
I wasn’t a writer by chance but by choice. I always wanted to become an actor and that is what pulled me to Mumbai. But when I came here I had to face a lot of financial crisis because of which I had to keep my acting career aside as I am not multi-tasking, I cannot do a lot of things together. It was then when I inherited my other talent of writing since I have had a background of the same. I strategized for myself and thought till I don’t settle down I will continue writing and then will focus on my acting career. I might soon take up writing but for now want to focus on acting.
Were you expecting Filmistaan to become huge, and that you would bag 2 movies opposite Akshay himself, both of which would turn out to be a hit?
While shooting for ‘Filmistaan’ we all had realised the film would come out wonderfully but it took a lot of time to release, nearly 2 years. Every person who watched the film said the film is amazing but would anyone spend for such faces. So ultimately the first statement that the film is amazing won and people did spend to watch such faces. Of course it was more than expected in terms of getting a National Award and receiving great reviews. I feel whatever is happening or has happened it is pre-written and everything has its own destiny. People still say that ‘Filmistaan’ was under estimated and more people should have watched it or should have been released on a bigger platform but we are glad it at least released and it is because of that I got other films with Akshay Kumar, All I believe in is hard work and your destiny follows you.
How does it really feel to be on the other side of a reality show, now going as a host to promote your film?
Going as guest on that reality show was huge, huge thing for me. It cannot be expressed in words; it was an emotional connect then. As I returned back I even shared it on my social media that we only rehearsed 10 years back and then action started with us coming on the stage with a lot dreams to be on the other side on the show. It took 10 years for a rehearsal to turn into a show. It was really special to go there to promote my film between the same people who I worked with. The whole journey just played in the back of my mind from backstage to onstage.
Any other exciting offers for you? Will it also have a comic element or something new which we can expect, for example a dark, serious kind of role or a little dramatic or romantic?
In the upcoming films ‘Firangi’ is the one to release soon with a different kind of script and as I said I always want to be a part of different kind of cinema as I have done so far. Of course I will make sure to not disappoint people who keep a lot of expectations from me. Comic roles are something I really don’t want to attempt. I feel I am good at it and I don’t want to do something I am good at. As an actor I want to explore myself and grow. I want to invest myself in something I don’t know, I want to learn and give my best at it. With your wishes I am sure I will be able to pull any kind of roles be it dark, serious, romantic or dramatic.