Adil Hussain is a prominent Indian television, film and stage actor who predominantly works in the Hindi and art house cinema. He was born on October 5, 1963 in Goalpara, Assam in India, where he was also brought up by his father, who works as a teacher. He used to join school plays and left home when he was eighteen years old to take philosophy course at B. Borooah College in Guwahati. Adil started acting in plays as a stand-up comedian. He used to mimic well-known Bollywood actors in between the Bhaya Mama Group’s (a local stand-up comedian group) performances. He has been a stand-up comedian for six years until he participated in a mobile theatre and worked in some local cinemas. After that, he moved to Delhi and studied at the National School of Drama from the year 1990 to 1993. He had been under the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship when he attended the Drama Studio London in Ealing. 

When he returned to India in the year 1994, he worked with the Hengul Theatre in Assam for three years, before he shifted to Delhi. From there, he started his stage career while continuing his training under Khalid Tyabji. Later, he was also trained by Shaupon Boshu before starting his training under the popular casting director Dilip Shankar, in Delhi. Initially, he was acclaimed for his brilliant performance in Roysten Abel’s Othello: A Play in Black and White in the year 1999 and Goodbye Desdemona.

From the year 2004 to 2007, Adil stayed as the trainer and artistic director of the Society for Arts and Performers, which was based in Hampi. Besides being the visiting faculty in the National School of Drama, he works the same at the Royal Conservatory of Performing Arts in Hague. 

He made his Bengali debut through the period drama film Iti Srikanta, along with Soha Ali Khan in the lead role. He also made his debut in the television through the detective mystery series, Jasoos Vijay on DD National from the year 2002 to 2003. Even though he worked in few Assamese movies and had done small roles in the carper thriller film Kaminey and For Real in 2009, Adil’s role in the black comedy thriller Ishqiya, helmed by Abhishek Chaubey, made him popular in the Bollywood cinema. After this, he acted in a multilingual Bengali film Gangor in 2010.

He bagged his first major role in the early 2012 through the Bollywood action spy film Agent Vinod, alongside Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. In the same year, he acted in Mira Nair’s box-office English political thriller drama film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. He played as the father of Pi (played by Irrfan Khan) in the American adventure film Life of Pi. Adil was also seen in Gauri Shinde’s blockbuster hit film, English Vinglish. He was critically acclaimed for his role in Taimoor Khan’s Lessons in Forgetting and received the Best Actor Award at the New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest in New Jersey in the year 2012. The film also won the Best Feature Film in English at the 60th National Film Award.

This was followed by several Hindi films including Lootera, Boyss Toh Boyss Hain, Kaanchi: The Unbreakable, The Xpose, Tigers and many more. His first leading role in Bollywood was the 2014 drama film Zed Plus, helmed by Chandra Prakash Dwivedi. He also acted in several Assamese films and made his first lead role in the Assamese film Raag: The Rhythm of Love in 2014.

This year, he was starred in the upcoming Bollywood drama film Main Aur Charles, which was inspired by real-life events. Adil will also be seen in a French film entitled Crash test Aglae. Recently, he made his Tamil debut in the Arya-starrer Yatchan. He is also set to make his debut in the Marathi film industry through the film Sunrise.

Adil was married to Kristen Jain and they have a son. He is the uncle of Prem Khan, who also works as an actor.

Adnan Shah

Whether it is in Pakistan or India, the transitions of TV serial actors to the big screen have in many cases been beset with hiccups. In fact, in Pakistan a much lower number of actors have migrated smoothly into film careers than in India. Even those who have been successful have seldom managed to get away from typecast roles they performed in their first films. In case of Adnan Shah, (sometimes also referred to with the suffix ‘Tipu’) however, the story has been different. Although his initial appearances on TV were in comic roles, in serials like “Sab Set Hai”, he grew up ultimately to be a versatile actor excelling in diverse roles. He had a number of notable appearances in films and what was special about the films were that irrespective of where they were made, they were released in both India and Pakistan due to related themes. “Ramchand Pakistani” made in Pakistan, is about a Pakistani Hindu who has by mistake crossed into India along with his young son, and “Kajraare” is an Indian film shot in historical Jordan and again features both Indian and Pakistani stars.  This could also be one of the reasons why he has starred in another Indian movie, once again set in Pakistan, as the title “Welcome to Karachi” revealingly suggests. That he could bag this role was not just because he had previously acted in Indian films, but more due to his inherent skills and was in fact referred to the casting director by one who knew the current crop of Pakistani actors intimately. In this latest film of his, although the movie overall was a humorous one, he had to portray the role of a tough guy and as per all accounts has done a very decent job of it, with his natural acting skills. It is all the more remarkable that his co-actor in the film was the redoubtable Arshad Warsi from India and compatriots Ayub Khoso and Kubra Khan. What is remarkable about Adnan is that he has often acted with well known actors in his films, but has never felt cramped in his own acting in their presence. Rather, he exudes immense confidence in his own skills. It is this confidence that keeps him going and while TV serials and theatre will always be there, he has already carved a somewhat international niche for himself in films.

Adnan Shah Hindi Actor