In Vijay Jayapal’s “Nirvana Inn,” Hussain headlines alongside Sandhya Mridul (“Bridge”) and Rajshri Deshpande (“Sexy Durga”). At an earlier stage, the film was at the Busan Asian Project Market in 2018 and subsequently received post-production support from the festival’s Asian Cinema Fund.
Hussain also stars in veteran filmmaker Goutam Ghose’s “The Wayfarers” (“Raahgir”) alongside Tilottama Shome (“Sir”).
“The role I play in “Raahgir “is of the poorest of the poor, a tribal man from Central India, a wayfarer, but a giant of a human, who’s humanity is put to the test by the circumstances he suddenly finds himself in. In “Nirvana Inn” my character journeys through the darkest of human despair and guilt and unfathomable sadness which descends on him, and is beyond his control,” Hussain told Variety. “I feel extremely privileged that two films in which I play the male lead are premiering at the festival,”
Hussain is no stranger to Busan, having first visited in 2014 with Partho Sen-Gupta’s “Sunrise.” Several of his subsequent films including Shubhashish Bhutiani’s multiple award-winner “Hotel Salvation” were Busan selections, but Husain could not be present due to his busy shooting schedule.
While maintaining a footprint in mainstream Bollywood cinema with films like “English Vinglish” and “Agent Vinod,” Hussain is best known internationally for his body of globally travelling work that includes “Life of Pi,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “Tigers,” “Parched,” “Angry Indian Goddesses” and Netflix series “Delhi Crime.” A key breakthrough role was in Iram Haq’s much-feted “What Will People Say”, for which he won best actor at Norway’s Amanda Awards.
“Frankly, I see myself acting in films,” said Hussain. “International films are an organic offshoot of that. I am open to act in any film from any part of the world, including of course India, provided the scripts and the associated people come up with inspiring ideas and exciting roles that I have not yet ventured into.”
Next up for Hussain internationally is Geeta Malik’s Atlanta-based “India Sweets and Spices,” alongside Manisha Koirala (“Lust Stories”), which is produced by SK Global (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and MadisonWellsMedia (“Motherless Brooklyn”).
At home in India, he has Wanphrang Diengdoh’s Khasi-language film based in the North East of India “Lorni – The Flaneur” that is due to begin its festival journey shortly, and eminent filmmaker Prakash Jha’s “Pareeksha: The Final Test.”
He will also be seen in season three of “Star Trek: Discovery”.