The actor on working with Mawra Hocane, Humayun Saeed and the Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2 experience and reuniting with Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza for Load Wedding.
Fahad Mustafa is on a roll. Since surfacing on the silver screen with Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s Na Maloom Afraad in 2014, the actor has reached unprecedented heights of fame and critical success by essaying a diverse set of characters.
Mah-e-Mir was a sincere ode to the late poet, Mir Taqi Mir. In Actor-in-Law, Fahad’s portral of a struggling actor whose accidental arrival at the court leads him to battle for the rights of millions was equally compelling. His most recent hit, Na Maloom Afraad 2 had him reprising the role of the dubious and menacing protagonist in the sequel to his debut crime-caper.
As for the man himself, he’s conspicuously absent from press headlines. When asked why, Fahad tells Instep in a telephonic chat, “I was waiting for something to speak about.”
Fahad’s game-show is far from being an act; it’s his true self on-screen. And the actor in him will be brought forward again as he is set to collaborate with Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza for the fourth time with the peculiarly titled Load Wedding. His co-star in the film will be Mehwish Hayat, with whom he also starred in Actor-in-Law.
However, not many actors of Mustafa’s caliber continue to make movies with the same team for the fear of being typecast, for one thing. Contrary to popular belief, Fahad is far from grudging; not only is he ecstatic to collaborate with the brains behind the film, but was all praises for his co-star, Mehwish Hayat.
“We must be doing something right that a director and his actors are never bored of working with one another,” he tells Instep, before adding, “I believe there is no better actress than Mehwish Hayat in the country currently; the rest of them are just big names. If there’s anyone who puts her heart and soul into a project and works hard, it’s Mehwish. She and I are just two poor actors, who’ve been blessed with a lot of respect, and we have that passion alive, we’re genuinely excited about every project we take up and she’s also someone who makes the most out of what she’s offered.”
Hayat, however, is not the only actor to impress Mustafa. He confesses of being “pleasantly surprised” after shooting opposite Mawra Hocane in Turkey for the first spell of the Nadeem Baig-directed, Jawani Phir Nahi 2. The two also shot for a dance number in the City of a Hundred Names and developed great camaraderie on and off-screen. “I think Mawra again is somebody who is very hard-working. She was truly involved in the process and I’ve had a lovely time working with her (so far),” he maintains.
He confesses on having no reservations of sharing the screen in an ensemble star cast. “If Nadeem Bhai wants you to do his film, which is already a huge franchise, and then respects you the way you want to be respected and creates a character which is as important as the lead actor’s (Humayun Saeed’s), who is without a doubt a huge star, without having any issues about sharing the screen with you, then how can you say no? I think I had a very comforting, and relaxing experience shooting JPNA 2,” Fahad shares.
What’s most noteworthy is the fact that both the films will fight the box office battle on Eid-ul-Adha next year. Fahad and Mawra are the new additions to the already-stellar JPNA 2 cast; comprising Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmad Ali Butt, Sarwat Gillani and Uzma Khan. The plot of JPNA2 begins from where the last film left off with the original trio and introduces this new pair.
Load Wedding, on the other hand, Fahad says is an “innocent love-story” that chronicles the journey of an ordinary man, whilst veteran actress, Samina Peerzada, too, will be seen in a prominent role.
“It’s scary,” he says, and continues after a pause, “I mean it’s scary because two of the biggest filmmakers in the country want to work with me and release their films at the same time without being afraid of anything, so I feel it’s a little bit overwhelming. It’s good pareshaani (worry), but it definitely is a pareshaani,” he says. “I just hope I’m able to pull off both the characters because they’re both very different from one another. I’m sure when you’ll see the promos, you won’t be thinking about watching the same actor in both. That is what excited me, I could’ve easily said no to either of them, but it’s very simple – it’s just difficult to turn down an offer from the absolute best in the business.”
“JPNA 2 is good value added to my life. I made a lot of good friends and met a bunch of talented new people. Whereas Nabeel and I have a bachpan ka pyaar; he keeps coming back to me and I don’t know what his problem is so now I’m doing his film as well,” he says before adding: “I can even assure you that I would be Nadeem Bhai’s choice even for his next film because of the kind of equation we now share after JPNA 2; it was rare I’d say, but just very interesting.”
From an insider’s perspective, Fahad feels the only way forward is to respect one another and mutually work towards the betterment of the fraternity. “I think it’s a collective effort that needs to be made. We’re past the revival phase. Now is the time to create good films and work together,” he observes. Fahad truly walks the talk, and says he has great regard for Humayun Saeed for being this compassionate and giving to cinema and otherwise. “He’s just the kind of person you want to respect, you never know we might also end up collaborating as producers also somewhere down the lane,” he suggests.
While Load Wedding, currently in its pre-production phase, will go on floors towards the end of January next year and will completely be shot locally, Fahad will carry on with JPNA 2’s next leg of shooting in Dubai and Karachi. “It’s truly the best time of my life,” he concludes