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Hussain Dalal: Farhan Akhtar-Rakeysh Mehra’s rapport made us feel comfortable on Toofaan sets

Hussain Dalal plays Farhan Akhtar's BFF in Toofaan.

Jul 16, 2021
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Hussain Dalal.

He shined bright in one of the latest songs from Toofaan, Star Hai Tu. No, we’re not talking about Farhan Akhtar but his on-screen friend Hussain Dalal.

The actor, who is gearing up for the release of Toofaan, spoke to OTTplay exclusively about his role in the film, being stereotyped for his Nescafe ad, future projects and much more.

Excerpts from the interview:

Your role in Toofaan appears to be Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar)’s BFF. Did that equation translate off-screen too?

We hit it off the moment we met on sets. A lot of the friendship that you see in the film is real. We really got along. It was fun working with him and it translated on-screen too. Rakyesh also writes in such detail that it’s just beautiful when executed on-screen.

Spill some beans about your character. We’d wish to know more about Munna...

It’s better if my character remains a surprise. Basically, Aju and Munna grow up together. They were happy being gundas. After one point, Aziz (Aju) decides to lead a life of honesty. It’s about the struggle of kids from that area. Not every kid becomes a gunda or boxer. The story is about their reformation. At that point, you understand the difficulty of being honest with yourself and the world.

Who would you say your BFF is?

I have many. My closest friend lives in Mazgaon. In the movies, I have close friends too. Ali Fazal and Rohit Dhawan are my closest friends there. My childhood jigri lives near Alibag. Since childhood, we exchange clothes and food.

After Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it’s expected there would be terrific professional chemistry between Farhan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Did you witness that too?

They share a great rapport. They just get each other so well and are secure artists. As actors, I and Mrunal were comfortable despite being newer in the industry, because of their strong understanding. It makes people comfortable and lets them witness the magic.

How would you rate Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra as a director?

He’s a great guy and so easy to work with. He’s just like one of us. You never feel the pressure of working with a legend with him around. He sits with us and we have to remind ourselves that he is the man behind Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6 and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He’ll Whatsapp you and ask if the shoes he wishes to buy are good and check if the colour works for him. He’ll see me on set and ask if I want to wear a different T-shirt.

You have picked projects which don’t exactly reveal your funny side. Was that a conscious decision?

I just did one campaign for a coffee ad. That image became very vivid in people’s minds. I want to enjoy my work as an actor. There’s no point in making you laugh if I can’t make you cry.

Despite working in seven films so far, people remember you as the guy from the Nescafe ad or as a comedian with the AIB. Does that stereotyping affect you?

Not at all. I love life in all forms. Rather than affecting me, it makes me very happy that people are so kind they like you for an ad film you acted in. They like you in two minutes. And they like my films too. When I get so much love, I shouldn’t complain. People want to become famous so they find more work.

What are your upcoming projects?

There are a lot of projects in store. Brahmastra, Radhe Shyam, Jalsa with Tumhari Sulu director Suresh Triveni, Amazon Prime Videos’ show Yaar Dost, Call My Agent, a new show with Raj & DK, Siddharth Anand’s Fighter and more.

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