Colour-blind casting is the way to go, says Huma Qureshi

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Colour-blind casting is the way to go, says Huma Qureshi

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Critically acclaimed actress Huma Qureshi, who is garnering applause for her maiden international venture “Viceroy’s House” — which was screened at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival — is happy that people abroad are becoming increasingly blind to colour and race when it comes to casting for films and shows.

Over the past few years, Indian actors like Irrfan Khan, Anupam Kher, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone have gained visibility in foreign projects.

Asked whether Indian actors are getting more meaty roles in international projects in today’s times, Huma told IANS: “Totally. Colour and race-blind casting is the way to go.”

Directed by British filmmaker of Sikh origin Gurinder Chadha, “Viceroy’s House” is set around the late 1940s during the time of Indian Partition. The film was showcased at the film festival on February 12.

“We had such an outpouring of love and the film got such an emotional response,” Huma said.

Basking in the success of her latest Bollywood film “Jolly LLB 2” — which entered the Rs 100-crore club on Wednesday, Huma said it was not an easy task for her to get into the character of Aalia in “Viceroy’s House”.

“Basically, (I did) dialect training. It was important to speak like an Indian would speak English in 1947,” said Huma, who has shared screen space with Indian as well as British actors like Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Michael Gambon and late actor Om Puri in the film.

“I heard speeches and interviews of Indians from 1940s, especially Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and met a lady called Jaya Thadani who was a young girl at the time India got independence. She is the niece of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur,” Huma added.

Further sharing her experience of working outside India, Huma said a lot many foreigners have now moved on from the stereotypical image of Indian cinema that they had in their minds.

“It definitely has. The world is looking at India with interest and is open to new stories and narratives. Many collaborations are going to emerge from this interest,” Huma said.

Talking about her shooting experience with Chadha, Huma said: “Very nice. (I) learnt a lot from all my team and crew. Blessed to have such an eclectic and talented bunch to work with.”

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