Mustafa: (Laughs) I earned more as an AD. I didn’t get anything for this film.
Mustan: I agree, as an AD, he used to earn more. Here, we didn’t even bother asking him what he was expecting or whether he was expecting anything at all! (Laughs)
Mustafa: (Cuts in) Tu film karle
Abbas: No, actually we had forgotten about that. Now that you have reminded us, we will have to pay him something. Actually even for the agreement… we made all our team members sign agreements and our accountant said, ‘Mustafa hero hai picture ka ek agreement toh
Mustan: When doing satellite deals and music deals, the actors’ consent is required. That’s why we had to draw up this one contract for him.
KA: I was pampered more (Laughs)
Mustafa: Yes, she was pampered more than I was.
BOI: You have launched many superstars in Bollywood. What kind of pressure was Mustafa under as this is his debut film?
Mustafa: When you come from a family that makes films, the pressure is obviously very high as you have to live up to that name. You don’t have to give 100 per cent; you have to give 200 per cent. And that is what I have done in this film. You have to maintain your family’s reputation.
Mustan: Sometimes, when you are shooting a scene, you do homework, you work out a story board, and you do all your preparations. However, there were two – three scenes when we categorically told Mustafa that an actor’s skill is proved when he does that scene in one take.
Mustafa: I had a five-page scene.
Mustan: We told him to be prepared to get that scene right in one take because we didn’t want
BOI: What did they unlock in you as an actor?
KA: This is my third film and it offered me, as an actor, plenty of scope. My character in this film is very layered. Performing in this film required me to experience many emotions I had not experienced before. I am still young and have a long way to go. So a lot of it was new to me. The thing is they keep you in a very calm mind space, so that you never feel the pressure to perform. You feel like it is just another scene.
I never once felt pressured to perform. Acting in this film was just a reaction or an extension of that. They keep you very calm and that’s how they speak to you just before a heavy scene. The atmosphere too is very calm. Everything just flows thereafter.
Also, we had Hussain sir on the sets throughout the shoot, their third brother, who is an editor and not present right now. Having an editor on the sets helped me understand the technicalities behind the scenes…the mood and emotions that have to be portrayed and where he was going to cut that. That definitely improved our performance.
Mustafa: She is so natural when it comes to delivering her lines. I used to feed off her energy. We did the climax scene in just one take but it was one of the most difficult scenes to shoot because we usually shoot in 24 frames. However, that specific scene was shot in 96 frames. We pulled it off!
Mustan: (Cuts in) We have gone with the situation, of course, and each of our films has just four or five songs. But this film has six songs because it is a romantic thriller and recently we completed the Tu cheez badi hai mast mast song.
BOI: From the trade point of view, what are your expectations from the film’s release?
Mustan: We are keeping our fingers crossed, let’s not say anything and jinx it. We have given it our best and our actors and our team have given it their best.
BOI: What can the audience expect from the film?
Mustan: The film is a romantic thriller and it is actually during the climax, the last 20 minutes, that the audience will get to know why the title of the film is Machine.
KA: The audience will get everything they expect from an Abbas-Mustan film. The film has everything you want.