Khandkar Mohammad Adil Hussain[1] (pronounced [ʕaːdɪl ħuˈseːn]; born 5 October 1963) is an Indian actor who is known for his work in several Indian independent and mainstream film productions, as well as international cinema, in films such as The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Life of Pi (both 2012). He received National Film Awards (Special Jury) at the 2017 National Film Awards for Hotel Salvation and Maj Rati Keteki.

Adil Hussain
Hussain at Life of Pi press meet
Born (1963-10-05) 5 October 1963 (age 60)
Goalpara, Assam, India
Alma materB. Borooah College
National School of Drama
Drama Studio London
Years active1986–present
Known forLife of Pi, Jasoos Vijay

He has starred in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Norwegian and French films.[2][3]

Early life and education


Born in an Assamese Muslim family in Goalpara, Assam on 5 October 1963,[4][5] where his father was the headmaster of a high secondary school, Hussain was the youngest of seven children.[1][6][7][8] His ancestors had traditionally been appointed as private tutors, known as Khandkar, to the Mughal Emperors.[1] In an interview he described his multiethnic background, as his maternal grandfather was Iraqi while his maternal grandmother had Assamese, English and Italian roots.[1]

Hussain acted in school plays.[9] He left home at age 18[10] to study philosophy at B. Borooah College, Guwahati,[7] he started acting in college plays and performing as a stand-up comedian.

He also mimicked popular Bollywood actors in between the performances of a local stand-up comedian group, the Bhaya Mama Group. He worked as a stand-up comedian for six years, joined a mobile theatre and also did some local cinema,[10][11] before moving to Delhi, where he studied at National School of Drama (1990–1993).

He also studied at the Drama Studio London on a Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship.[12][6][13]



After his return to India in 1994, Hussain joined the mobile 'Hengul Theater' in Assam, where he worked for three years, before moving to Delhi.[7] He started his stage career in Delhi, though he continued training under Khalid Tyabji. After Tyabji he trained with Swapan Bose at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, before starting training with Dilip Shankar in Delhi.[7]

As an actor, he first received acclaim in Othello: A Play in Black and White (1999), which was awarded the Edinburgh Fringe First,[12] and later Goodbye Desdemona also directed by Roysten Abel. He remained the artistic director and Trainer of the Society for Artists and Performers in Hampi from 2004 to 2007,[11] and a visiting faculty at Royal Conservatory of Performing Arts, The Hague.[14][15] He is also a visiting faculty at his alma mater, the National School of Drama.[11][13]

In 2004, he made his Bengali film debut along with Soha Ali Khan in the period drama Iti Srikanta, where he played the lead role.[16]

On television, he appeared in the lead role, in the detective series Jasoos Vijay (2002–2003), produced by BBC World Service Trust.

Though he had appeared in a few Assamese films,[13] did a small roles in Vishal Bhardwaj's Kaminey and Sona Jain's For Real, it was his role in Abhishek Chaubey's Ishqiya (2010) that got him attention in Bollywood,[17] though his first major role was in Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer Agent Vinod released in early 2012. In the same year, he appeared in Italian director Italo Spinelli's Gangor, Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Ang Lee's Life of Pi.[6]

He next appeared alongside Sridevi in the comedy drama English Vinglish (2012), and also received critical acclaim for his role in Lessons in Forgetting at the New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest.[18] After these he acted in Aditya Bhattacharya's Bombay Most Wanted and Partho Sen-Gupta's Sunrise.[11]

His next role as Inspector K. N. Singh was in the Ranveer Singh-Sonakshi Sinha Lootera under Vikramaditya Motwane's direction. This followed with Amit Vats' comedy Boyss Toh Boyss Hain, the story of four young men with similar problems in life, who eventually find their way to true love.[19]

Hussain opened 2014 with the Assamese film Raag: The Rhythm of Love playing Iqbal, which marked his first Assamese film in a lead role. Sringkhal and Rodor Sithi were his other Assamese releases in the year. He was also seen in Hindi films like Kaanchi: The Unbreakable as a CBI officer, The Xposé as Rajan starring Himesh Reshammiya in the lead, and Tigers as Bilal starring Emraan Hashmi. Tigers, based on a real-life story about a salesman, was screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. His first lead role in a Hindi film came with the drama Zed Plus as Aslam Puncturewala.[20]

Hussain had his maximum number of film appearances in 2015 as he had releases in English, Hindi, Bengali and his first Tamil and Marathi movies. His Hindi movies include Main Aur Charles as Amod Kant,[1] Jai Ho Democracy as Major Baruah, and Angry Indian Goddesses as a police superintendent. He debuted in Tamil cinema with Yatchan portraying the significant role of Selvam/Vetri, He also worked in his first Marathi movie Sunrise as Joshi. His Bengali film of the year was Arindam Sil's mystery thriller Har Har Byomkesh as Zamindar Deepnarayan Singh.

His 2016 projects include the drama film Parched directed by Leena Yadav, which premiered at the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It is about four women who lead a tightly controlled-by-traditions life in a village in Rajasthan. His other project in the year is the action thriller Force 2 directed by Abhinay Deo featuring John Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. His Assamese film in 2016 is Kothanodi. Adil Hussain's 2017 releases include Commando 2: The Black Money Trail, Love Sonia, Mantra, Mukti Bhawan, Dobaara: See Your Evil,[21] Kabuliwala, and Naval Enna Jewel.

In 2018, he acted in S. Shankar's 2.0[22] as well as in Aiyaary and Bioscopewala. In 2022, Hussain became the first-ever personality to hoist the Indian National Flag in the Metaverse at the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' Metaverse event organised by Piro Space.[23]

Life membership


In 2013, after having conducted a film workshop at University Film Club, Aligarh Muslim University, Hussain was granted a lifetime membership in the university's film club.[24]

Hussain has been honoured by Sandeep Marwah with the life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television at Noida Film City.[citation needed]

Personal life


During the 1999 Edinburgh Film Festival, Hussain, cast as Othello, fell in love with Kristen Jain, who was playing Desdemona. He ended up tightly hugging her, much to her and the audience's shock, instead of "killing" her as per the script, thus forcing the curtains to be brought down immediately. They eventually got married eight years later, in 2007.[25]


Year Title Role Language Notes
1986 Xongkolpo Pulak Assamese Film was based on "Assam Movement(1979-85)"
1987 Sutrapaat Assamese Scenario of "Assam Movement" was shown in the film
1988 Pita Putra Assamese 2nd film directed by Munin Barua
1989 Bhai Bhai dancing in the song "uduli muduli gao milijuli" Assamese directed by Biju Phukan
2002-2003 Jasoos Vijay Vijay Hindi TV series, Season 1 and 2
2003 In Othello Adil/Othello English
2004 Iti Srikanta Srikanta Bengali
2009 Kaminey Flight Purser Hindi
For Real Ravi Shukla English
2010 Ishqiya Vidyadhar Verma/Shyam Prasad Kulshreshtha Hindi
Gangor Upin Bengali
2012 Agent Vinod Colonel Hindi
The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mustafa Fazil English
English Vinglish Satish Godbole Hindi This film was partially re-shot in Tamil-language in the same title
Life of Pi Santosh Patel English
Lessons in Forgetting J.A. Krishnamoorthy English
2013 Lootera Inspector K.N. Singh Hindi
Boyss Toh Boyss Hain Hindi
2014 Raag: The Rhythm of Love Iqbal Assamese First Assamese film in a lead role
Kaanchi: The Unbreakable CBI officer Hindi
The Xposé Rajan Hindi
Sringkhal[26] Kalidas Assamese
Rodor Sithi[27] Assamese
Zed Plus Aslam Puncturewala Hindi First Hindi film in a lead role
Tigers / White Lies Bilal Hindi
2015 Main Aur Charles Amod Kant Hindi
Jai Ho Democracy Major Baruah Hindi
Unfreedom / Blemished Light Devraj English/Hindi
Parched Mystic lover Hindi
Feast of Varanasi Arjun English British film
Yatchan Selvam/Vetri Tamil First Tamil film
Ahaan Hindi
Nanak Shah Fakir Rai Bullar English
Arunoday-Sunrise Joshi Marathi First Marathi Film
Angry Indian Goddesses[28] Police Superintendent Hindi
Har Har Byomkesh Deepnarayan Singh Bengali
Umrika[29] Patel Hindi
2016 The Violin Player[30] Hindi
Crash test Aglaé Hindi French Film
Bombairiya Hindi
Force 2 HRD Minister Brijesh Verma Hindi
Kothanodi[31] Devinath Assamese
Leena's Beauty Parlour Assamese Guest role
Chakra[32] Hindi
2017 Commando 2 Karan's Boss Hindi
Love Sonia Shiva Hindi /English
Mantra Man from Jharkhand Hindi
Hotel Salvation Rajiv Hindi /English
Dobaara: See Your Evil Alex Merchant Hindi
What Will People Say[33] Mirza Norwegian
Maj Rati Keteki[34] Priyendu Hazarika Assamese
Naval Enna Jewel Intelligence police officer Malayalam First Malayalam Film
The Illegal Papa English[35]
2018 At Large English
Maati Jamil Bengali
Ahare Mon Purnendu Pahari Bengali
Aiyaary Retd. Colonel Mukesh Kapoor Hindi
Bioscopewala Robi Basu Hindi
2.0 [36] Minister S. Vijay Kumar Tamil
Nine Hours In Mumbai Veer Hindi[37]
Rajma Chawal cameo Hindi
2019 Bombairiya Pandya Hindi
Delhi Crime Kumar Vijay Hindi
Kabir Singh Dean of the college Hindi
Good Newwz Dr. Anand Joshi Hindi
Nirvana Inn Hindi
Raahgir - The Wayfarers Lakhua Hindi
Pareeksha Bucchi Hindi Movie on ZEE5
2020 Star Trek: Discovery Aditya Sahil English 2 episodes
Abyakto Rudra Bengali
2021 Bell Bottom Santook Hindi
India Sweets and Spices Ranjit English
Ram Malayalam
2022 Mukhbir - The Story of a Spy Ramkishore Negi Hindi Web Series on zee5
2023 Dr. Bezbaruah 2 Dr. Bezbaruah Assamese
Tooth Pari: When Love Bites Adi Deb Hindi Web Series on Netflix
Sergeant Inspector Haider Ali Hindi on JioCinema
Otta Malayalam [38]

Short films

Year Title Language Notes
2003 Rasikan Re Hindi
Butterfly Hindi
2010 Doctor, Nurse and Patient Hindi
Tequila Nights (TV movie) Hindi
2012 Infected English
2013 Muniya Hindi
2014 Dwaraka Hindi
One Last Question Hindi [39]
2016 Azaad Hindi
Bandhi Hindi
Chutney Hindi

National film awards

Year Category Film Result
2017 National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) Mukti Bhawan Won
2017 National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) Maj Rati Keteki Won

Norwegian National Film Award for Best Actor award of Amanda Award What Will People Say

Other awards and nominations

Year Category Film Result
2012 Best Actor - New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest Lessons in Forgetting Won
2014 Best Actor-Prag Cine Awards Raag: The Rhythm of Love Won
2015 Best Actor In A Supporting Role-Stardust Awards Main Aur Charles Nominated
2018 IIFA Award for Best Actor Mukti Bhawan Nominated


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