Huma Qureshi (actress)
Qureshi at the 58th Filmfare Awards, January 2013
|Born||Huma Saleem Qureshi
28 July 1986
|Alma mater||University of Delhi|
|Relatives||Saqib Saleem (brother)|
Huma Qureshi (pronounced [ɦuːmaː qureʃiː]; born 28 July 1986 in Delhi) is an Indian actress who mainly works in Hindi cinema. She worked as a theatre actor and model before beginning her film career. After starring in several theatrical productions, Qureshi moved to Mumbai and signed a two-year contract with Hindustan Unilever to appear in television commercials. During the shoot of a Samsung mobile commercial, Anurag Kashyap noticed her acting ability and signed her for his films.
Qureshi made her feature film debut with a supporting role in the 2012 critically acclaimed crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1 and Part 2. Qureshi's performance won wide critical acclaim, earning several nominations in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Female Debut category (including Filmfare). She further received critical acclaim for her portrayal of a range of characters, including a witch in the horror thriller Ek Thi Daayan, a RAW explosives expert in the underworld drama D-Day, and the promiscuous companion of a Begum in the black comedy thriller Dedh Ishqiya. In 2012, IBN Live called her one of the most promising newcomers in India.
Early life and modelling career
Qureshi was born on 28 July 1986 in Delhi, India. Her father, Saleem Qureshi, is a restaurateur who runs a chain of restaurants (Saleem's); her mother, Ameena Qureshi (a Kashmiri), is a housewife. She has three brothers: Naeem Qureshi, Haseen Qureshi and actor Saqib Saleem. She grew up in Kalkaji, Greater Kailash, South Delhi. Qureshi did her History Honours at the Gargi College. Later, she joined Act 1 theatre group and performed in few theatre productions. Qureshi has worked with several NGOs and assisted a documentary filmmaker.
In 2008, she moved to Mumbai to audition for film roles, auditioning for a film (Junction) which was never made: "I never thought of coming to Mumbai or being an actress. But when my friend called me for an audition for a movie called Junction, it set me thinking. Sadly, the film never got made". Qureshi signed a two-year contract with Hindustan Unilever to appear in their television commercials. She promoted a range of products, including Samsung Mobile (with Aamir Khan), Nerolac (with Shah Rukh Khan), Vita Marie, Saffola Oil, Mederma Cream and Pears Soap. During a shoot for a Samsung Mobile commercial, director Anurag Kashyap was impressed with her acting ability and promised to use her in a film. Qureshi recalled, "I didn't believe him then. You hear lots of such stories in this industry so I wasn't waiting with bated breath". Kashyap kept his promise, though, casting her in the two-part crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur.
Debut and breakthrough (2012–present)
Qureshi was initially scheduled to make her film debut in Billa II, after surviving an audition out of 700 candidates. Although cast as the female lead, when the film was delayed, Qureshi left the project to honour other work commitments: "I have no regrets. I wish it had worked out but it didn't. I am not someone who sits and laments over things. I was approached for several other south films too but the roles weren't what I was looking for".
Qureshi featured in the short film Sujata; her performance earned her a Special Mention at the 2012 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. That year, she made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Anurag Kashyap's crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 alongside Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Richa Chadda and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The plot (spanning 50 years) tells a story of power struggles, politics and vengeance among three crime families. Qureshi played Mohsina, the love interest of Faizal Khan (Siddiqui). She described her character as a small-town airhead who thinks she is the prettiest girl in the village: "Mohsina tries to copy everything she sees on the big screen in her own little ways. She is heavily influenced by Bollywood". The film premiered at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, and both the film and actress received positive reviews from critics Govind Nihalani noted her screen presence, comparing the actress to Smita Patil: "an earthiness, sincerity, intensity and warmth of personality, qualities that distinguished Smita, apart from the fact that she was a very fine and instinctive actress. Huma is a good enough actress on her own, someone who can stand apart from the crowd and hold her own". Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama noted, "Huma Qureshi, who's introduced much later in the film...is wonderful". The Telegraph labelled her appearance "unconventional" and noted "Bollywood is largely about ex-beauty queens and size zero PYTs. Dusky and slightly bigger than the other newbies, she brings a raw sensuality on screen that is quite irresistible". The Express Tribune added, "When it comes to looks, [Huma] is different from the typical Bollywood actors". In 2012 Qureshi appeared on Rediff.com's annual list of "Bollywood's Top Ten Debutants" (male and female) and placed third, the highest female position. The actress reprised her role as Mohsina in the second instalment of Gangs of Wasseypur, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2. The film premiered in the Cannes Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival with its prequel. It opened to wide critical acclaim, and her portrayal again received positive reviews. Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India said "Huma Qureshi, with her gaudy clothes, designer sun-glasses and unusual attractiveness is the hottest cheez in Wasseypur. She beautifully lends support as a powerful man's 'prouder' better-half, even in his worst crimes", and Taran Adarsh found her "simply fantastic". Both films earned Qureshi several best supporting actress nominations (including the Filmfare Award) and best female debut nominations. Qureshi described Gangs of Wasseypur as a "life-changing film". She next starred as the feisty Punjabi girl Harman in the comedy Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, with Kunal Kapoor. The film describes a quest for an ancient family dish (chicken Khurana). Rediff.com noted, "Huma Qureshi looks right for the role and she delivers a wonderful performance". Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis said, "[Qureshi], on the other hand, is charming as the fiery Punjaban, Harman. Her refreshingly natural acting style impresses again in a role that has shades of her character in the Gangs of Wasseypur. However, Anupama Chopra described her performance as "a little bland". Despite good reviews, the film was unsuccessful at the box office.
Recent work (2013–present)
Qureshi's first release of 2013 was the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan, alongside Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin. The film revolves around a magician, who is haunted by a witch, received mixed reviews by critics. However, her performance was well received. The Indian Express noted that Qureshi has just a few good moments, but makes the most of them while, Koimoi noted that Qureshi has a remarkably pleasant and confident screen presence. Raja Sen of Rediff.com praised the female cast and wrote "The three leading ladies – Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Kalki Koechlin are smashing in their roles...Each plays their given role with frighteningly good flair, and each deserves a big hand."
Qureshi's short film Sujata—which was screened at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles in 2012—was released to the public as one of the segments in the Anurag Kashyap-produced anthology film Shorts. She played the eponymous lead as a young girl who is struggling to come out of the clutches of her tormenting cousin brother (played by Satya Anand). The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and Qureshi earned critical acclaim for her performance.
Qureshi next appeared as a RAW explosives expert, Zoya Rehman in Nikhil Advani's underworld drama D Day. The film received positive feedback from critics and Qureshi's performance received favourable reviews; Subhash K. Jha mentioned that Qureshi's acting is "effortlessly appealing and effective."
In 2014, Qureshi featured in Abhishek Chaubey's Dedh Ishqiya (sequel of Ishqiya), co-starring Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah. The film met with mostly positive reviews from critics, and Qureshi received praise for her portrayal as the promiscuous companion of Begum Para (Dixit). In a 5-star review, Raja Sen commented that "Qureshi uses her fiercely intelligent eyes to great effect", whilst Mohar Basu agreed, saying that "Huma Qureshi is brilliant and confident. The actress has in her the vivacious energy that proves her talent." Qureshi'slast appearance of 2014 was Rochak Kohli's Music Video " Mitti Di Khusboo" with Ayushmann Khurrana, was highly praised. India Today noted; "The chemistry the two Ayushmann and Huma share onscreen ha the raw flavour of the countryside romance".
As of November 2014, Qureshi has several projects in various stages of production. She has completed work on the experimental film X. The film consists of a directorial team of 11, with Qureshi working under the direction of film critic Raja Sen; she will feature alongside Anshuman Jha. She has also finished shooting for the Marathi film Highway. Qureshi is filming for Sriram Raghavan's action thriller Badlapur, in which she will be feature alongside Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Yami Gautam. She has also signed two gangster films—Sanjay Gupta's Mumbai Saga with John Abraham and Anurag Kashyap's Madam X, a film based on the Gujarati novel of the same name. In addition, Qureshi will be seen with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Sanjay Gupta's thriller Jazba.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2012||Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1||Mohsina|
|2012||Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2|
|2012||Trishna||Herself||Special appearance in song "Maintenance"|
|2012||Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana||Harman|
|2013||Ek Thi Daayan||Tamara|
|2013||D Day||Zoya Rehman|
|Highway ||TBA||Marathi film
- Mitti Di Khushboo
Awards and nominations
|2012||Shorts||Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles||Special Mention||Won|
|Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 and
Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2
|BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor (Film) Debut—Female||Won|
|Filmfare Awards||Best Female Debut (also for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana)||Nominated|
|Filmfare Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|IIFA Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Most Promising Newcomer–Female||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|South Africa India Film and Television Awards||Debut Actor of the Year—Female||Won|
|South Asian Rising Star Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Star Guild Awards||Best Female Debut||Nominated|
|Stardust Awards||Searchlight Best Actress (also for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana)||Nominated|
|Times of India Film Awards||Best Debut Female||Nominated|
|2013||D Day||BIG Star Entertainment Awards||Most Entertaining Actor in a Thriller Film—Female||Nominated|
|2014||Zee Cine Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role—Female||Nominated|
|Ek Thi Daayan||Screen Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Dedh Ishqiya||Stardust Awards||Breakthrough Supporting Performance—Female||Won|
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