Huma Qureshi Biography
Huma Qureshi (Born 28 July 1986 in Delhi) is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood (Hindi) films. She worked as a theatre actress and model before beginning her film acting 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 as Mohsina (a film buff and the supportive wife of a gangster). Her performance drew critical appreciation and earned her several nominations for Best Supporting Actress (including the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress) and Best Female Debut. That year, Qureshi also starred in the comedy Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. Whilst the film was a commercial failure, her performance was well received by critics. In 2013, she starred in the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan, which opened to mixed reviews from critics.
Early life and modeling career
Qureshi was born on 28 July 1986 into a Muslim family in Delhi. 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, who is two year younger than her. She grew up in the Kalkaji area,Greater Kailash of South Delhi. Qureshi did her History Honours at the Gargi College. Later, she joined Act 1 theater 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 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
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 honor 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".
Huma Qureshi at the 65th Cannes Film Festival
Qureshi featured in the short film Sujata; her performance earned 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". 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.
Qureshi with director Anurag Kashyap at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
The actress reprised her role as Mohsina in the second installment 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). 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.
Qureshi's first release of 2013 was the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan produced by Ekta Kapoor saw her starring alongside Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin. The film which tells the story of a magacian, 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, and I refuse here to tell you who plays who. Each plays their given role with frighteningly good flair, and each deserves a big hand."
As of May 2013, she is filming for Nikhil Advani's next production, D Day (with Irrfan Khan), and the sequel to the 2010 film Ishqiya entitled Dedh Ishqiya (with Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi).
2012Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1MohsinaNominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
2012Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2
2012TrishnaSpecial appearance in song "Maintenance"
2012Luv Shuv Tey Chicken KhuranaHarman
2013Ek Thi DaayanTamara
2013D DayZoya RehmanPost-production