Surprise No.1. In her first Bollywood film Sher Humaima Malik plays the same role as Shabana Azmi’s national award winning role in Vinay Shukla’s Godmother. Surprise no 2. Contrary to the rumours floating around in Mumbai eyewitness on location in Rajasthan say Humaima hardly exchanges anything more than a hello with the deadly Dutt.
The Bol actress is now in India to…well, bowl us over. She is all of 22, full of spunk, honest and raring to go. And when cornered with what she says are embarrassing rumours linking her with Sanjay Dutt, she isn’t afraid to hit back.
“For God’s sake . Not him, please! I already have a man and the world knows it. I respect Sanjay Dutt. Here in Rajasthan location we don’t even talk. The entire world knows about Wasim Akram and me. I am here to work. Not get into controversies and scandals. I only say ‘Salaam Sir’ when I see Mr Dutt. In my family we’re taught to respect elders. That’s about it.”
In Soham Shah’s Sher which she’s shooting in the sweltering heat of Rajasthan Humaima plays the challenging role of a female gangster forced to take over her husband’s empire after he’s killed. The film is narrated in a flashback by Humaima after the Sanjay Dutt character’s death.
Says Humaima excitedly, “Just like in my acclaimed Bol! There too the entire film was told in a flashback through my character. There too I played a girl who watches patriarchal atrocities mutely and then rises in revolt. I feel I’m crossing the border with a role that echoes my earlier film. To just describe the part as that of Sanjay Dutt’s wife is doing injustice. If you remember Shabana Azmi had played the same role in Godmother. Yeh wohi role hai! Would you describe it Shabana as Milind Gunaji’s wife’s role in Godmother.”
The spirited actess is appalled by the linkup rumours. “Mr Dutt plays my husband in Sher. But we don’t have a single romantic moment to share. Thank God for that! He’s so much my senior. Unko main jitni izzat doon kam hai. I like the way he looks after the people around him. Beyond that we don’t talk. I’ve my entourage from Pakistan to give me company. Even when I did Bol, my co-star Atif Aslam and I were hardly close friends. Actually Ali Zafar, not Aatif is my buddy from the Pakistani entertainment industry. I am completely bewildered by the politics of Bollywood. I want to stay out of it.”
The Bol actress says she is here only to play powerful parts. “And I am not here to get into linkups. I am here to be remembered for my work, not scandals. This industry is way bigger than where I come from. Just a beautiful jism is not enough. You need to have bundles of talent to survive in this industry. My role is very powerful in Sher. God is there to support and help me.”
Humaima’s homes are in London and Dubai. Her large family of 6 brothers and sisters are spread across the world.
Says Humaima, “I’m a self-made girl. I started working when I was 14. Allah has given me everything. I don’t need any man to look aftrer me. I want to see the world, study and educate myself more, make sure my siblings are all settled. I want to spend more time with my parents. Most of all I don’t want to lose my dignity. Hamare Islam mein kehte hain, mooh se nikli hui baat aur gayi hui izzat waapas nahin aate.”
As for Wasim Akram, Humaima says, “He and I have come a long way. We love each other’s company. But we aren’t getting married. We don’t need to spoil our careers with marriage. I’ve just started as an actress. When audiences see me on screen I want them to find me desirable. I want audiences to react to me like they do to Vidya Balan. It’s a male-dominated world. But I don’t want to be known by the men I work with. Besides, when I’ve the best guy in the world in my life, why would I need anyone else?”