On his own after Machine

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Mar 2017 14:08:44


By Subhash K Jha,

Mustafa, son of director Abbas Burmawalla of the famed Abbas-Mustan duo, says he may have got his “first opportunity” from within the family but he will be on his own after the release of Machine.
Mustafa is entering the industry with Abbas-Mustan directorial Machine.


“Being from the family that I come from is a huge honour. I got my first opportunity within the family. But thats it. I know after this Im on my own,” Mustafa said.
The 29-year-old debutant says he is aware that he has to give his best as there will be people looking at him with expectations.


“It is not really easy when you are a star kid or have your parents from this fraternity. Its very difficult. The stakes are very high, everyone is watching you, expecting something from you. You have to keep up to that name, to give your 100 per cent. You have to give your best,” Mustafa told.
Mustafa says his debut film was never intended to be his launch pad.


“Machine was not designed for me. My father and uncle (Mustan) were planning the project. I had no intention of being an actor. I always wanted to be a director. I had studied direction at the New York Film Academy. I had even directed several short films. My aim was to direct one day. It still is,” he said.


It was Mustafas cousin who suggested Mustafas name for Machine.“I had assisted my father and uncle on three of their films -- Players, Race 2 and Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon. I was supposed to assist them on Machine. My uncle Hussains son (the third Burmawala brother who edits all their films) thought Id be right for the role. I was called by my father and the two uncles to read the script aloud. I didn’t know it was an audition. They liked what they heard. But they still didnt know if I could act. So I prepared a showreel of 15 minutes. Thats what got me the role.”


He then went to National School of Drama (NSD) where N K Sharma trained and polished his skills, before
Mustafa started shooting the film which is set to release on March 17.“Nine hours, every single day for six months I trained under him. For dancing too I used to practice nearly for 10 hours a day. I used to wake up do gymnastics, dance and martial arts practice,” he says.
Mustafa says family ties are never allowed to interfere in the business of filmmaking.


He said, “We all live under the same roof in one home as one family. There is no difference for me between my father and my two uncles. And my cousin is like my own brother. But my father and uncles are thorough professionals at work. From the time they directed their first film Agneekaal whoever they have worked with has been chosen for suitability, and no other reason. I’d like to believe I was selected in Machine because I was right for the role.”
Once on set, Mustafa says the equation between him and his father was more like that of an actor-director.


“They are very strict on sets. They treated me as an actor on sets, just like they treat anybody else. We used to meet on sets. We never had a father-son relationship. Because once you get into the comfort zone, you can never be the same. You need to be out of the comfort zone to get it right every single time,” says Mustafa.
Mustafa, son of director Abbas, says for him the most challenging task was to lose around 70 kgs for his debut film Machine.


The newcomer had a personal trainer who helped him shed the excess weight gradually.
“It took me five years to lose around 70 kilos and achieve my current weight of 55 kgs. The first week of dieting was the most difficult. I also started working out and did everything from functional to weight training. I also used to run,” he said.


Mustafa is all praise for his co-star Kiara Advani. He says, “She was so easy to work with, and so helpful. Shooting the film was like a picnic.”
The romantic thriller is slated to release on March 17. And Mustafa is nervous.


“Machine is being released a week after a big film like Badrinath Ki Dulhania which features Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt -- who have a huge fan following. Even I am a fan. I hope some of their fans come to see our film too,” he said.