Huma Qureshi will be seen with her brother Saquib Saleem for the first time in American film Oculus’ Hindi remake Dobaara. The actress spoke about her films, debate over endorsing fairness creams and the issue of triple talaq.
What made you take up this film?
I watched the original film and it was the only reason why decided to do it. The makers came to me and told me that they are doing an official remake of Oculus, and they wanted us to play brother and sister. The original film was a hit and playing reel brother and sister with Saquib was a bonus. So I said why not.
Were you sceptical about watching the original film?
Actually they offered me the film and asked me if I have seen it. I said no. Then they told me that they want to make the remake in different languages.
So since there was no bound script, I watched the film, and then we started working on it. Vikram Khakhar is making the Indian remake and he told us the spin to this story is that he wants real brother sister to play reel brother sister in it. After watching the film we gave our approvals.
How was it working with director Praawal Raman?
Our first meeting with him went well and that is one of the reasons why we are doing it. He had a very different take to the film.
It was good experience to work with him. I normally prefer working on my role according to the script. I follow direction and try to play it as per my ability.
Occulus is a scary film. Do you watch horror films, and do you have had any scary experiences?
Unfortunately not many films have been made in this genre.
There are very few horror films which you can watch, especially with your family. We always think that we can make horror films only in certain way, which is not true. We used to watch a lot of horror films as kids, we used to like watching horror shows and they were really scary at that time.
This is a film which you can watch it with your family. We are trying to get UA certificate for it. My nana (maternal grandfather) used to tell me lot of scary stories, but I have never had any supernatural experience in my life.
Do you think women in the industry get their dues?
Women in the world don’t get their dues, whether they belong to this industry or any other industry. We always have to work harder to prove ourselves. But that is just how it is. Thankfully, things are changing. We have smart and talented women who are working to leave their mark and inspiring others to do it. That is a very healthy trend. It is not an easy battle. Recently I spoke on the same issue in United Nations. It is something that we have to keep working towards.
What is your take on Abhay Deol’s rant against actors endorsing fairness products?
I think Abhay is right. It is a correct point of view. I think as a actors, we have to be little more responsible. If your conscience allows you to be part of something then you should do it. Abhay feels strongly about certain things and I am glad he spoke about it.
When any endorsement deals come to me I see how much money they are paying. But I will not sell poison for money. People follow you; they are your fans so you need to take them into consideration.
What are your views on triple talaq issue?
It is a very serious issue. I think society and certain community needs reform, just like our society. But it needs to come within the community. I think that is most important.
How was the response to your film, Viceroy’s House’s screening in Berlin?
We had London premiere also, after the Berlin screening. I think they are planning to release it here in next couple of months around Independence Day.
The response has been great, we got stand ovation and people loved it. It is a very beautiful love story at the time of partition between Muslim girl and a Hindu boy and the country is being divided by British people.
What is your fitness regime?
I am not staying away from food; my regime is all about finding the right food to eat. I am eating sweets, pizzas, but only those made by me. I am making my own food; I am cooking in a way that is healthy for me. I make pizza with a cauliflower base or desert I make is without sugar or natural sweets like dates or jiggery.
They are good for your body and skin, hair, nails. I don’t think healthy eating should be boring eating or tasteless. I am a big foodie so even in my daily food I try and look for food, which is good for my body but at the same time it is tasty.