Kiara Advani (KA): I was very excited to go and meet them. When I got a call for the meeting, I couldn’t believe it as I had grown up watching their films. That’s when I felt I wanted to do this film. In commercial cinema, Abbas sir and Mustan sir are only the directors who not only present their women beautifully but the women are always given very strong, powerful roles in their films. Like sir said, their films are always entertaining but they are also performance heavy as well. They bring out that in all their actors. I feel very blessed and grateful to Abbas sir and Mustan sir.
Abbas: It’s was nothing like that, everyone recommended her and that’s why we cast her. We felt there had to be something about her if not one or two but three people had recommended her for the film. And we never audition our actors, not even Kiara. She did ask for joint narrations but we refused. We thought it would introduce monotony and so we directly started the shooting.
BOI: Mustafa, what was your reaction when you learnt you would be the lead actor in this film?
Mustafa: In the back of my mind, I guess I was wishing I could do this film because the character is very layered and mysterious and the script was so strong. I thought that if I was given the chance, I would love to do this film. Naturally, I was shocked when I got to know that I was doing this film but I was also excited.
Mustafa: I couldn’t say ‘please cast me for the film’, right? So, yeah, that’s how I was told.
Abbas: If he had said he wanted the part, we wouldn’t have believed him. But after confirmation too, we asked him to prove himself and show us what he was capable of.
Mustan: Finally, that Friday will arrive and one needs the perfect casting for that.
Abbas: Also, on the sets, they performed very well. It wasn’t like ‘ki humara ghar ka beta hai’. We had confidence in him and he proved that we had taken the right decision.
KA: A day before we went on the sets, I suggested to Mustafa that we rehearse but when we went on the sets, he was transformed. I was amazed at his performance. In fact, I thought I need to pull up my socks. We had this competition thing going between us.
Mustafa: So, when I used to watch her performance, I used to think she is so good that I have to up my game. We both buckled up to perform better and better.
KA: We wanted to push the envelope, which is good for the film, and I never once felt he was doing a film for the first time. He was effortless in front of the camera.
Mustan: One day, they arrived on the sets fully prepared, without any brief, and told us they wanted to demonstrate a romantic scene. Abbas said if they are so confident, let’s take the final shot. That one take took us completely by surprise. Their chemistry was amazing and we have used that shot as it is.
BOI: During the shoot, did your fatherly instinct ever take over your
Mustafa: That never happened on the sets. We never had a father-son or uncle-nephew relationship on the sets or during the entire making of the film. They treated me as a professional actor, so I used to meet them on the sets, including when we went to Georgia for 60 days. I never once stepped into their rooms and I received no special treatment.