Malaal actor Meezaan Jafri: 'I never wanted to pursue acting'

Meezaan Jafri on the failure of Malaal and collaborating with his favourite filmmaker, Priyadarshan

Heena Khandelwal Published :  20th August 2021 12:49 PM   |   Published :   |  20th August 2021 12:49 PM
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Meezaan Jafri

Two years ago, Meezaan Jafri had a dream launch, a Sanjay Leela Bhansali production Malaal. But, unfortunately, the film didn’t catch many eyeballs. The critics didn’t find it appealing too. But, Meezan was noticed by filmmaker Priyadarshan who offered him his next, Hungama 2.

“I don’t think it did badly because people saw the film and didn’t like it, I think it didn’t do well in theatres because people weren’t aware of it, because it wasn’t promoted at all. But, whoever saw the film, appreciated my performance,” shares Meezaan, admitting that it did upset him initially but it also taught him an important lesson. “I got Hungama 2, which many think is my debut movie, because Priyadarshan sir liked my performance in Malaal. So, I think the most important thing is to do your part well.”

Although Meezaan comes from a family of actors — he is the son of actor, comedian and dancer Jaaved Jaaferi and grandson of legendary comedian late Jagdeep, he surprisingly had no plans to join Bollywood.

“I never wanted to pursue acting. I was always into music and sports and wanted to do something in those fields. But when Sanjay Leela Bhansali told me that he wants to launch me, I saw it as a big opportunity, so I sat down and made up my mind.” This was 2014; Meezaan was 19 and in college and his parents wanted him to complete his studies, so he complied. But, a year and a half later, he came back thinking he might miss on a big opportunity and assisted Bhansali on Padmaavat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Meezaan (@meezaanj)

Coming back to his debut movie, Malaal, it was an intense drama set in the 90s and was canvassed on the political environment of that time. In contrast, his recently released film Hungama 2 is a comedy. When asked which one comes to him more easily, he picks drama even though he agrees the prep was gruelling in Malaal. “It required me to do a lot of workshops, work on my accent, body language and I spent days hanging around chawls to get it right. On the contrary, Priyadarshan sir asked me to just arrive on set, listen to his instructions and have fun, which is what I did,” he shares, adding, “When it comes to dancing, I think it has been passed on by my father (laughs). I don’t think I am a great dancer but I hope to learn it and become as good as him someday.”

Coming up next are a couple of films, which he says will be announced soon. “One is a thriller, one is rom-com and I can’t say anything about the third one,” he concludes. While he is mum, rumours are abuzz that he is collaborating again with Priyadarshan for a thriller. Whether they are true or not, only time will tell.

Hungama 2 is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

heena@newindianexpress.com
@heenakhandlwal

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