In conversation with Mustafa
Excerpts from his interview with Executive Editor Seema Dhawan
How is life after Machine?
Life is amazing. Things have changed completely after the film. I learnt a lot of things, experienced so many things, it’s wonderful to grow in life.
Since you are son and nephew of the famous filmmakers? How much pressure do you feel?
Yes the pressure is more, I need to give two hundred percent. If you are from a film family, you may get one chance, but not the second one! People have more expectations from us.
What is your take on nepotism?
Sometimes if a father is a businessman then definitely he would like his children to take over his business. A father will do anything for his son or daughter. Doctor ka beta doctor, Businessman ka beta businessman and so on…
So nepotism is not just in this industry. People should understand. It is everywhere.
Do you seek advice from your father and uncle for your personal or professional choices?
For professional reasons – yes! Whenever I hear any script or I have to go for any meeting, I definitely do seek advice from them. They are much more experienced.
How were you treated on the sets of “Machine”?
Family ties are never allowed to interfere in the business of filmmaking. My father and uncles are thorough professionals at work. I was treated just like any other regular actor who is a new comer in his career. I was not given any luxury or any extra attention throughout the whole schedule which we shot for 3 months. We used to meet in the morning and after pack up, they used to go to their room and I used to go in mine. I was genuinely treated like any other regular actor.
What would be your priority- acting or direction?
Acting definitely, the only priority right now!
Your favourite actors/directors?
I actually look up to a lot of directors and a lot of actors. Our industry is full of talent and then everyone is completely different when it comes to performing or directing a film. I am quite lucky that I am here. I have too many people to look up to.
What would be your dream role?
Actors are very selfish. They want to do every single thing. They want to play every character because it’s a challenge for them to perform and play different characters that’s what, make an actor -an actor. I would like to perform and play different characters and accept all the challenges.
What is your success mantra to survive in this industry?
Just keep working hard, focus on yourself the most.
What do you think is the criteria of a box office hit?
There is no fixed criterion!
Sometimes a big budget film with established star cast doesn’t do well at the Box Office whereas a low budget film with new star cast is a super hit? Your take?
Absolutely! Actually it depends a lot on the audience how they accept you. It is up to them. They are the best judge.
Don’t you think the taste of the audience is changing?
Yes, there is a lot of change. It’s good every few months their taste is changing.
Do you believe in destiny?
I believe ‘you write your own destiny’. No
one can depend on destiny. You should just focus on what you want and should
‘ki ho jayega’. If you focus on your work and work on it you will definitely get it.
What are your other interests?
Apart from acting, it is cricket. I watch lots of films. I love playing cricket. I love to cook. I am a chef also. Whenever I have an off especially on Sundays, I love to cook.
What is your fashion statement?
Fashion for me is comfort. Wear anything in which you feel comfortable and which you can carry nicely. I always wear casual attire and mix and match my formal and casual attire for parties. I wear shirt and my pair of jeans. A pair of jeans is what I love the most.
Five wardrobe essentials?
It’s perfume, a good pair of jeans, good shoes, watch and I have a very good collection of T-shirts.
Which is your favourite colour?
It’s blue and black
Are you in a relationship?
I am in a relationship with films only. It’s just the work for now.
Okay, then what turns you on in a girl?
I think the way she speaks, the way she conducts a conversation, that is one amazing quality for sure but then it’s like meeting someone and some random connection is there and you fall in love.
What about your forthcoming projects?
There are few things in pipeline right now I won’t comment, will make the announcement very soon.
Who is the real ‘You’?
The Real ‘Me’ I am just the way I am. I am a very calm and a relaxed person, very focused who knows what he wants.
Mustafa, son of Abbas (of Abbas–Mustan fame) made his debut in Bollywood in Machine- a romantic thriller film, directed by Abbas–Mustan. He was actually trained in direction at the New York Film Academy. Mustafa had assisted his father and uncle on three of their films — Players, Race 2 and Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon. He was supposed to assist them on Machine. It was just that his uncle Hussain’s son Zainul suggested he would be right for the role that he was called to read the script aloud (which was actually an audition). They liked what they heard. But they still didn’t know if he could act. After making a 15-minute show reel about himself, Mustafa was signed and then he went in for six months of intense training in acting and all aspects of personality with acting guru N.K. Sharma.