Mustafa, who is all set to mark his Bollywood debut with Machine, didn’t have it easy in Bollywood.
Mustafa, who is all set to mark his Bollywood debut with Machine, didn’t have it easy in Bollywood. He confesses that he became an actor by chance and not by choice. In a candid chat, he spills the beans on his debut film with father Abbas Burmawalla (of the Abbas-Mustan duo), working with Kiara Advani and much more. Edited excerpts from the interview:
How did your acting journey start?
I was never into acting, I was more involved in direction. A few years ago, when I was assisting Abbas-Mustan on Players, Race 2 and Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karun, I used to read out the scenes and enact it to them. That’s how acting interested me — it was never my dream to be one.
How did you end up choosing to debut with your father’s Machine?
I was assisting my dad and uncle on Machine earlier. The main cast of the film wasn’t locked then and they wanted to make Machine with someone else. I kept thinking that I could play the role of protagonist, but never voiced out my thoughts. And suddenly, one of my cousins suggested my name for the male lead. My father, although unsure about this, mulled over the idea for over two months. When they asked me to narrate the story, I enacted each and every scene from the script. And that’s how I was finalised for the role.
My journey wasn’t a cakewalk. I made my showreel that included dance moves, dialogues and action. Meanwhile, I went to NSD and trained under N. K. Sharma for six months.
Do you have any childhood memories of visiting film sets with your father?
As a kid, I used to watch films, but never visited the sets. I had very little idea of what my father was doing. The only memory I have is when I went on the sets of Baadshah and I only remember Shah Rukh Khan sir being there — nothing else. I always concentrated on my studies and dad never brought work home. He barely ever spoke to me about films.
When did you realise that you want to be a filmmaker?
I started writing short films a really long time ago when I was studying, but when I went to NYC, I made 75 short films. I used to think about films and then put it on paper. I love the technical process of filmmaking. I have also written two feature films for my father that will hopefully go on floors later this year.
How was your experience working with Kiara Advani?
She has done a fantastic job in her last two films. She is a natural actress on screen and easy to work with — we were always on the same track as co-workers. Whenever we have to do a scene, we used to discuss and shoot the scenes.
Are you already feeling the pressure of competing with top actors?
I am still getting into it. I have not completely come to terms with the fact that I’m an actor now.
However, I don’t think I’m competing with anyone because everyone has different talent, which it is a treat to watch.