Not sure if you know him by his name but if you watch Hindi films on a regular basis, then you’ll surely recognize his face. We’re talking about Inaamulhaq, who has acted in films like Filmistaan, Airlift, Firaaq and more. He’s also a part of the film Jolly LLB 2 which released recently. Catch him in this exclusive interview as he talks about his films and much more.
1. What made you say yes to the film?
For me, the biggest reason to say yes to any film is a wonderful script. I don’t even see the length of the character offered, just that it should be significant. And as an actor, I should have the opportunity to do something. But yes, the first condition always is a good script. I mostly prefer reading scripts first but since I was
in my hometown for Eid, Subhash Kapoor had narrated the script to me over a video call. I loved the script in the first narration itself and my condition of a good script went absolutely right with Jolly LLB 2.
2. How was it working with Akshay Kumar?
This is my second film with Akshay Kumar and like always, it was a pleasure working with him. The good thing about Akshay is, he gives his co-stars a lot of respect and makes you feel very comfortable and this is from the time of Airlift. When he saw my audition for Airlift, he had appreciated me a lot and told the director that if anyone has to do this role, it is him. It builds the confidence when something like this comes from an actor like Akshay Kumar. He is a wonderful human being, you get to learn a lot of things from him especially the discipline he carries in his life, which is rarely seen in our industry. The title of the film perfectly suits the Jolly actor that he is in real life.
3. Do you feel you have a lot of unutilized potential?
The biggest judge for you is yourself. You rightly know what is right and wrong for you, and if you have the capacity to do that or no. Every person carries multiple talents with them, even I do. Like I use to do painting, writing, etc. But I have trimmed down to only acting and as an actor, I feel I have the potential. And writing was only for the time being, that was for survival. Everyone has the potential to do something but all you need is a good platform where your potential can be highlighted in the right way. Out of a few good films, limited ones are offered to me and I try to do the best in them and hope to do better always.
4. Are you looking to get meatier roles?
Yes, of course. I wholeheartedly wish to do better and better roles. I don’t want to repeat myself doing the same roles and I try to put the effort in doing better than before. I feel the increase in graph takes a little time. Like after Firaaq I did Filmistaan after a gap of 4 years. Post Filmistaan, I was seen in Airlift after one and a half years and now Jolly LLB 2 after a year. I am happy that the gap is decreasing and I’m satisfied doing better and better roles. I don’t like doing what I am good at. Like if I am offered a comedy role, I will not take because I am good at it. I like to take challenges. Like I said, good scripts and good roles is what I look at. My journey is on; let’s see where it takes me.
5. You have worked behind the camera and have written dialogues for Bbuddha Hoga Tera Baap. Did that experience help you in acting?
Staying behind the camera was a conscious decision when I came to Mumbai to become an actor because of my financial condition. The second best talent I had was writing and so I chose to do so. I could run my house with it. I initially started with writing TV shows and then thought of writing films when I got a chance to write dialogues for Bbuddha Hoga Tera Baap. But after a point, I felt I should stop it. I am glad to have been God-gifted with a sixth sense that guides me well. The conscious decision for writing was only to run my house but I didn’t want to choose just anything and do it for the sake of it. I feel reading is the biggest pillar to do anything in life and it goes for an actor too. Whenever I got time, I used to read which helped me to become a writer and learn a lot in life. So yes, Bbuddha Hoga Tera Baap was a wonderful experience.
6. Will acting be your priority now?
Yes, absolutely. Acting is all that I want to do now. Very few get a chance to follow their passion and I am thankful to God for giving me this opportunity. I always wanted to be an actor and I am doing that. For writing, I unable to find time. But yes, the day I get some time, I will surely do.
7. Will we see you direct a film in the future?
At the moment, I don’t have any plans to direct a film but yes, in future I would surely. I have directed 2 short films in the past, out of which one was nominated as the Best Film in the Asia Pacific Film Festival and second one couldn’t be completed. Now I am only focusing on acting. Yes but the day I feel I am done with acting, I will pick the camera to direct a film of my choice and luckily the Cinema is going through a very good phase - be it for actors or filmmakers with new horizons and better platforms. Keep praying for me and Inshallah I will be soon seen directing a film too.
8. What's the best and worst part of being in films?
The best part is the pleasurable feeling of success and the worst part is the obsession of success. We all work hard to get that success in life but the misapplication of success becomes the worst part. We learn from what we see and I have seen this happening and I feel it doesn’t take you anywhere. I think you should never forget from where we rose. I follow a phrase in my life and pray to God that, “Ya Allah mujhe sheath mein thand se aur Jeet mein ghamand se bachaye rakhna”. Success is a treasure that has to be respected and protected. I am glad to be one of those who has found success in this industry.
9. Do you have many friends in Bollywood?
I have a lot of friends but the true ones are very rare. They play an important role in your life and are your well-wishers. I do not want to classify them from Bollywood and non-Bollywood but yes, I have true friends.
10. What are your future projects?
I am currently shooting for Nikhil Advani’s Lucknow Central with Farhan Akhtar and have completed Sandeep Nath’s DNA Mein Gandhiji and Mehran Amrohi’s directorial debut Chidiya.
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