Alaya F and Karan Mehta share their shoot experiences of Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is yet another quirky take on reality and is presented in his typical style.
A still from the film
A still from the film

An ode to modern love, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is yet another quirky take on reality and is presented in his typical style. Playing the leads are two uber-cool next-generation debutant actors, Alaya F and Karan Mehta, who are playing two characters each for this film.

We had a quick chat with the duo to find out more...

Tell us a little about the film...

Alaya F: This is a film about these two young people, Karan and I are both playing two characters each and both run almost parallel to each other but in slightly different timelines. We can maybe say it’s a
Gen Z version of Dev D in a lot of ways. These young people are on their way in search of love, or for some connection and why it remains ‘almost pyaar.’

Karan Mehta: The story also includes the restrictions that come with love.

So, it seems to be an out-an-out love story?

Alaya: Yes, it is, in a lot of ways, but it also has a lot of other genre elements... there is thrill, drama, fun, music, liveliness and brightness and at the end of the day it is an Anurag Kashyap movie, so, it has his signature flavours.

Alaya F
Alaya F

Since both of you are playing double roles, how easy or difficult was it to shoot for it?

Karan: It never felt difficult because of the gap we got in the middle. It felt like two different projects, because of the timeline. Before we started shooting this movie, different drafts of it were being made, so, we always had this idea of what the flow of the movie was. This discussion was constant and throughout the shoot, we evolved. The dif - ficult part was, I think, once we were on the set doing something out of nowhere because Anurag pushes us. You don’t get a script or any dialogues, you get the flow of it, but you will have to play along. He’ll tell you what he likes and what he doesn’t. So, it’s just made on the spot, with full spontaneous efforts. Working on the dialects was a little difficult; we would practise just before we started shooing.

Those were the challenges for sure, which I think are great challenges because they kind of prepare you.

Alaya: It was not challenging because of the double role aspect, where I played two very different characters, but the challenge was, as Karan said — we were adapting to a very unique style of filmmak-
ing. It’s all about being spontaneous and not having preparations for characters who are quite different from us. I would also like to mention that instinctively or not, Anurag is a teacher and when on the set, you constantly learn from him. You will pick up things from him that you will be able to use throughout
your career. There are many instances of learnings that I have taken from him. What seemed difficult at first actually ended up becoming our strengths.

Karan Mehta
Karan Mehta

How did this film happen for the both of you?

Karan: During our school days, my friends and I made a lot of short films, because we wanted to grow up to become directors, actors, scriptwriters and such. We had put a few on YouTube and somehow Anurag’s daughter Aaliyah happened to see the film and showed it to him. He actually liked it. I got a message from Aaliyah when I was in the bathroom, saying that her dad wants to meet me. So, I went to his house, we had a chat and he told me about a few things that he wants to make.

I went through a lot of classes and workshops and when Alaya came on board, that’s when we locked the film.

Alaya: I went to meet Anurag and the second I entered, he kind of tried to be dismissive and tell me that he has nothing that can be my kind of cinema. He was like: I only make convoluted films and they are nothing that might excite you. And he kind of tried to shoo me away. I told him that I don’t want him to make a film for me; I just wanted to show my reel and need his advice, so that I can be a great talent that someone could scout. It was a seven-minute reel with clips from my acting class and I saw him moving back and forth in his chair and his eyes glued to the screen. Seven minutes later, he said, “I have that perfect film for you.” And thus I was selected for the movie.

Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is in theatres now.

Related Stories

No stories found.