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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Malaal actor Meezaan Jaaferi says he did not want to act, but Sanjay Leela Bhansali called him a ‘star’

Jaaved Jaaferi’s son Meezaan Jaaferi will make his Bollywood debut as the lead actor in Malaal.

bollywood Updated: Jun 27, 2019 14:10 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Meezaan Jaffrey and Sharmin Segal during the launch of song Udhal Ho.
Meezaan Jaffrey and Sharmin Segal during the launch of song Udhal Ho.(ANI)

Debutant actor Meezaan, the son of actor Jaaved Jaaferi, has said he did not want to act but filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali told him that he is a ‘star’ and should act, even before he knew the young one was Jaaved jafferi’s son.

“For me, it was always either music or sports until I met Sanjay sir. He offered to launch me as an actor in Bollywood. That’s when I started thinking about acting. I have never trained for it. I never thought I will get into acting. I did martial arts, played football. I was also into swimming. I am obsessed with sports. But the day I met Sanjay sir, everything changed,” Meezaan said.

“When I first sat across Sanjay sir, he did not know anything about me, my background or who my father was. He just saw me and said, ‘You are a star and you should become an actor’. I did not know what to say or how to react because I had not thought of acting. Later he asked about my family. He invited me to be on the sets of Bajirao Mastani and asked me to observe everything. After sometime, he told me he would like to launch me. I couldn’t believe it initially,” he said. The young actor is gearing up for the release of his debut film Malaal, being produced by Bhansali.

Actors Meezaan Jaffrey and Sharmin Segal at the song launch of Malaal, in Mumbai on June 12.
Actors Meezaan Jaffrey and Sharmin Segal at the song launch of Malaal, in Mumbai on June 12. ( IANS )

He also said he has seen the glitter and grime of Bollywood and that makes him a realist in approach towards his acting profession. . Asked about his approach towards a glamorous profession like acting, Meezaan said, “I am a realist therefore, I am pretty focused on my work. I have literally seen the good and also the dark phase of my father’s career. There was a time when my father, being a family man, did films so that he could pay bills for many things including my education. I have got a good life but I saw him struggle. He is also very loved and respected because he is a skilled dancer and actor. The whole thing made me understand that if I am good in my craft, I will get my due and if I have love and support of the audience, I will get what I want as an actor.”

The story of Malaal is set in Mumbai where Shiva, a Marathi youngster from a chawl, falls in love with a north Indian. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Meezaan had an urban upbringing. Playing the character of a Marathi young man was certainly not easy for his debut film. However, a year-long workshop and guidance of director Mangesh Hadawale and producer Sanjay Leela Bhanshali helped him to find the nuance of the character. “At times, we tend to overdo it because technically speaking I do not come from that background, so I might just overact to make it look convincing. That could have happened to me as well if I was not in right hands. Since Mangesh is a Marathi, he helped me to get the body language and emotional space right to portray the character,” he shared.

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Apart from his father, Meezaan’s uncle Naved Jafri was long associated with the popular show “Boogie Woogie”, and his grandfather Jagdeep was a celebrated comedian in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Meezaan feels that he is entering the industry at a great time because of the increasing job opportunities on different platforms. “It is amazing to see the time that we are living in where platforms are increasing to celebrate stories and actors, technicians are respected. Earlier people used to look down upon TV. Those days are gone. Even OTT platforms are amazing and reaching the audience globally. Our generation is really lucky,” he added.

Malaal, however, is not the first time Meezaan has been a part of a film. The actor was a body double for Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat for some scenes where he also assisted Bhansali. “I did two scenes in Padmaavat when Ranveer was not available. They needed a back shot of him for a scene where he is talking to Jim Sarbh. Sanjay sir told me to wear Ranveer’s costume and everyone was shocked to see me like that. The DoP called me and said, ‘This was my silver screen debut’.” Ranveer was also instrumental in his meeting with Bhansali though indirectly. Meezaan says Sharmin, who was his college classmate, called him for the trial of Ranveer costume for Bajirao Mastani as the two have similar physicality.

Directed by Mangesh Hadawale and produced by Bhansali, Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain and Krishna Kumar, the film is scheduled to be released on July 5.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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First Published: Jun 27, 2019 13:55 IST

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