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Huma Qureshi Biography – Indian actress and “Maharani” of Bollywood

Huma Saleem Qureshi is an Indian actress and model who primarily appears in Hindi language films. She has also received three Filmfare Award nominations. Qureshi obtained a bachelor's degree in History—with honours—from the University of Delhi, while she worked as a theatre actor and model.

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Real Name: Huma Saleem Qureshi
Profession: Indian actress and model
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
Boyfriend: Mudassar Aziz
Age: 36

Huma Saleem Qureshi (born 28 July 1986) is an Indian actress and model who primarily appears in Hindi language films. She has also received three Filmfare Award nominations. Qureshi obtained a bachelor’s degree in History—with honors—from the University of Delhi, while she worked as a theatre actor and model. After working in several theatrical productions, she moved to Mumbai and signed a two-year contract with Hindustan Unilever to appear in television commercials. During the shoot for a Samsung mobile commercial, Anurag Kashyap noticed her acting ability and signed her for a three-film deal with his company.

Qureshi made her film debut with a supporting role in the two-part 2012 crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur. Her performance in the film earned her several nominations, including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and the Best Supporting Actress. That same year, she played the lead female role in the romance Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and followed it with a role in Ek Thi Daayan.

Huma Qureshi Biography
Huma Qureshi Biography

She portrayed protagonists in the anthological Shorts (2013), protagonists in the black comedy Dedh Ishqiya (2014), and supporting roles in the revenge drama Badlapur (2015) and the Marathi road drama Highway (2015). Qureshi’s later roles were included in films like Jolly LLB 2 (2017) and Dobaara: See Your Evil (2017). She made her web series debut with the 2019 dystopian drama Leila. Huma was praised for the portrayal of the character of Rani Bharti in the SonyLiv web series Maharani.

Huma Qureshi Biography
Born
Huma Saleem Qureshi

28 July 1986 (age 36)

New Delhi, India
Alma mater University of Delhi
Occupation
  • Actress
  • model
Years active 2012–present
Relatives Saqib Saleem (brother)

Early life and education (Huma Qureshi Biography)

Qureshi was born on 28 July 1986 into a Muslim family in New Delhi, India. Her father, Saleem Qureshi, is a restaurateur who runs a chain of 10 restaurants (Saleem’s); her mother, Ameena Qureshi (a Kashmiri), is a housewife. She has three brothers, including actor Saqib Saleem. The family relocated to Kalkaji, South Delhi when Qureshi was a child. She completed her bachelor’s in History with Honours from the Gargi College—University of Delhi. Later, she joined the Act 1 theatre group and performed in a few theatre productions. N. K Sharma was her mentor and acting teacher during her theatre days. She has worked with several NGOs and assisted a documentary filmmaker.

Acting career

Television advertisements

In 2008, she moved to Mumbai to audition for film roles, auditioning for a film, Junction, which was never made: “I never thought of coming to Mumbai or being an actress. But when my friend called me for an audition for a movie called Junction, it set me thinking. Sadly, the film never got made”. Qureshi signed a two-year contract with Hindustan Unilever to appear in their television commercials. She promoted a range of products, including Samsung Mobile (with Aamir Khan), Nerolac (with Shah Rukh Khan), Vita Marie, Saffola Oil, Mederma cream, and Pears soap. During a shoot for a Samsung Mobile commercial, director Anurag Kashyap was impressed with her acting ability and promised to use her in a film. Qureshi recalled: “I didn’t believe him then. You hear lots of such stories in this industry, so I wasn’t waiting with bated breath”. Kashyap kept his promise, though, signing her for a three-film deal with his company Anurag Kashyap Films.

Film debut and breakthrough

Qureshi was initially scheduled to make her film debut with Billa II, a Tamil gangster-thriller, directed and produced by Chakri Toleti, after surviving an audition out of 700 candidates. Although cast as the female lead, when the film was delayed, Qureshi left the project to honor other work commitments. When asked whether she had any regrets, she said: “I have no regrets. I wish it had worked out, but it didn’t. I am not someone who sits and laments over things. I was approached for several other south films too, but the roles weren’t what I was looking for”.

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Huma Qureshi Biography
Huma Qureshi Biography

Qureshi made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Anurag Kashyap’s critically acclaimed two-part crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 (2012), where Qureshi was cast as the supportive wife of a criminal (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui). She described her character as a small-town airhead who thinks she is the prettiest girl in the village: “Mohsina tries to copy everything she sees on the big screen in her own little ways. She is heavily influenced by Bollywood”. The film premiered at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, and both the film and Qureshi received positive reviews from critics. Govind Nihalani noted her screen presence, comparing the actress to Smita Patil: “an earthiness, sincerity, intensity, and warmth of personality, qualities that distinguished Smita, apart from the fact that she was a very fine and instinctive actress. Huma is a good enough actress on her own, someone who can stand apart from the crowd and hold her own”. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama noted: “Huma Qureshi, who’s introduced much later in the film…is wonderful”. The Express Tribune added: “When it comes to looking, [Huma] is different from the typical Bollywood actors”. In 2012, Qureshi was ranked third, the highest female position, on Rediff.com’s annual list of “Bollywood’s Top Ten Debutants” (male and female). Following the success of the first part, she reprised her role of Mohsina in the second installment of the Gangs of Wasseypur series, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2. The film premiered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival with its prequel. It opened to wide critical acclaim, and her portrayal again received positive reviews. Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India said: “Huma Qureshi, with her gaudy clothes, designer sunglasses, and unusual attractiveness is the hottest cheez in Wasseypur. She beautifully lends support as a powerful man’s ‘prouder’ better-half, even in his worst crimes”, and Taran Adarsh found her “simply fantastic”. Both films earned her Best Female Debut and Best Supporting Actress nominations at several award ceremonies (including the Filmfare Award). Qureshi described Gangs of Wasseypur as a “life-changing film”.

That same year, Qureshi completed her three-film contract with Anurag Kashyap Films by starring in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, a romantic comedy, which describes a quest for an ancient family dish; Chicken Khurana. Directed by Sameer Sharma, she played the role of a feisty Punjabi girl, Harman (star Kunal Kapoor’s love interest). The film was a financial success, and Rediff.com noted that “Huma Qureshi looks right for the role and she delivers a wonderful performance”. Aniruddha Guha of the Daily News and Analysis said: “[Qureshi], on the other hand, is charming as the fiery Punjaban, Harman. Her refreshingly natural acting style impresses again in a role that has shades of her character in Gangs of Wasseypur“. However, Anupama Chopra found her performance to be “a little bland”.

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Further works (2013–present)

For her next feature, Qureshi was cast as a witch in the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan (2013), alongside Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Kalki Koechlin. Dealing with the themes of witchcraft, the film was based on ‘Mobius Trips’, a short story written by Konkona Sen Sharma’s father. It received mixed reviews from critics but proved to be a profitable venture at the box office. Qureshi’s performance was also well received. The Indian Express said: “Qureshi has just a few good moments, but makes the most of them”, while Koimoi noted that “Qureshi has a remarkably pleasant and confident screen presence”. Raja Sen particularly praised the female cast and wrote “The three leading ladies are smashing in their roles…Each plays their given role with frighteningly good flair, and each deserves a big hand.” After appearing in Ek Thi Daayan, Qureshi, along with R. Madhavan hosted the 60th ceremony of the National Film Awards, an event presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals to honor the Best Films of the year (then 2012) in the Indian cinema by the President of India. The ceremony was held on May 3, 2013, at the Vigyan Bhavan during the presidency of Pranab Mukherjee.

In 2014, Qureshi featured in Abhishek Chaubey’s black comedy Dedh Ishqiya (2014), a sequel to the 2010 film Ishqiya, co-starring Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, and Naseeruddin Shah. Dedh Ishqiya was a commercial success, earning ₹270 million (US$4.1 million) in India and abroad and Qureshi received praise for her portrayal of the promiscuous companion of a con woman (played by Dixit). In a 5-star review, Raja Sen commented that “Qureshi uses her fiercely intelligent eyes to great effect”, whilst Mohar Basu agreed, saying that “Huma Qureshi is brilliant and confident. The actress has in her the vivacious energy that proves her talent.” Qureshi’s last appearance in 2014 was Rochak Kohli’s music video “Mitti Di Khusboo” with Ayushmann Khurrana. India Today noted: “The chemistry the two Ayushmann and Huma share onscreen has the raw flavor of the countryside romance”.

In 2019, Qureshi played the title character in the Netflix dystopian series Leila, based on the novel of the same name. Directed by Deepa Mehta, Shanker Raman, and Pawan Kumar, the series premiered on 14 June 2019 to mostly positive reviews from critics with particular praise for Qureshi’s performance. Hiba Beg of The Quint felt that Qureshi’s “raw presence in the show is as real as it gets on screen.” In 2021 she also featured in the web series Maharani in which she played the role of Rani Bharti which was also received very well by critics and for that she received the Filmfare OTT award. Later the year. she completed an American film Army of the Dead which was her Hollywood debut. She also returned to TV and hosted the reality show Fit Fab Feast in Zee Cafe. After that, she featured in Akshay Kumar’s film Bell bottom and did a second Tamil film Valimai.

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In 2022 she did her third web series Mithya which was the remake of the British series Cheat. She will also see Monica, O My Darling, and DoubleXL in 2022. In April 2022, Qureshi signed to play chef Tarla Dalal in her biopic. It is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, and Nitesh Tiwari, and directed by Piyush Gupta.

Personal life (Huma Qureshi Biography)

She has been in a relationship with Indian Director and writer Mudassar Aziz.

Huma-Qureshi-with-Mudassar-Aziz
Huma Qureshi with Mudassar-Aziz

Filmography (Huma Qureshi Biography)

Film

Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
  • All films are in Hindi unless otherwise noted
Year Title Role Notes
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 Mohsina
Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2
2012 Trishna Herself Special appearance in song “Maintenance”
2012 Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana Harman
2013 Ek Thi Daayan Tamara
2013 Shorts Sujata Appeared in segment “Sujata”
2013 D-Day Zoya Rehman
2014 Dedh Ishqiya Muniya
2015 Badlapur Jhimli
2015 Highway Mahalakshmi Marathi film
2015 X: Past Is Present Veena Appeared in segment “Knot”
2016 White Roshni Menon Malayalam film
2017 Ek Dopahar Raina Short film
2017 Jolly LLB 2 Pushpa Pandey
2017 Viceroy’s House Aalia English film
2017 Dobaara: See Your Evil Natasha Merchant
2018 Kaala Zareena Tamil film
2020 Ghoomketu Herself Cameo appearance
2021 Army of the Dead Geeta American film
2021 Bell Bottom Adeela Rehman
2022 Valimai Sophia Tamil film
2022 Gangubai Kathiawadi Dilruba Special appearance in song “Shikayat”
2022 Monica, O My Darlingdagger TBA Netflix Original Completed
2022 Double XLdagger Rajshri Trivedi Completed
2023 Tarladagger Tarla Dalal Completed
TBA Pooja Meri Jaan Films that have not yet released TBA Completed

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Upanishad Ganga Pundalik’s wife
Nati
Hussaini
Television series
2018 India’s Best Dramebaaz Judge Reality show
2019 Leila Shalini Web series
2021-Present Maharani Rani Bharti Web series
2021 Fit Fab Feast Host TV show
2022 Mithya Juhi Adhikari Web series
Huma Qureshi in Maharani
Huma Qureshi in Maharani

Music videos

Year Title Singer(s) Composer
2014 Mitti Di Khushboo Ayushmann Khurrana Rochak Kohli
2016 Tumhe Dillagi Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Awards and nominations (Huma Qureshi Biography)

Year Film Award Category Result
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 and
Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor (Film) Debut—Female Won
Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut (also for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer–Female Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
South African Film and Television Awards Debut Actor of the Year—Female Won
Star Guild Awards Best Female Debut Nominated
Stardust Awards Searchlight Best Actress (also for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) Nominated
Times of India Film Awards Best Debut Female Nominated
Shorts Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Special Mention Won
2013 D-Day BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in a Thriller Film—Female Nominated
2014 Zee Cine Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role—Female Nominated
Ek Thi Daayan Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Dedh Ishqiya Stardust Awards Breakthrough Supporting Performance—Female Won
2015 International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2016 Badlapur Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2021 Maharani 2021 Filmfare OTT Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Won

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