His enthusiasm is delightfully refreshing and surprising given that it’s almost 8 pm. No one would guess that Meezaan has been doing interviews all day as he readies for another q-and-a about Hungama 2, which releases on Disney + Hotstar on July 23, father Jaaved Jaaferi, and more. Excerpts from the conversation:
How long did Chura ke dil mera, the Main Khiladi Tu Anari song, which has been recreated for Hungama 2, take to shoot?
We shot it in three days flat, without any rehearsals. Shilpaji was very supportive. It’s a difficult song with a lot of complicated steps, which we learnt on the spot and did then and there, without thinking too much. I knew if I were to overthink, it would make me even more nervous. I don’t know how it happened because it happened in such a hurry, but I’m super happy with all the love that’s coming our way now.
Who is the better dancer, Meezaan or dad Jaaved Jaaferi and uncle Naved?
(Laughs) I will leave that for the audience to decide. What I can say is the way my dad and uncle dance is very form-oriented, more breakdance and western. With me, it’s always been typical Bollywood. Dad is a wonderful dancer and his moves are super difficult. I could do them if I tried, but that’s not something I would do naturally. What I have done in Chura ke dil mera came straight from the heart.
Your grandfather, legendary comedian Jagdeep, must have been a great role model too, did you ever have conversations about cinema and acting with him?
It was never about acting, more about his experiences. He would tell me stories about the actors and directors of his time. Of course, both my grandfather and my dad watched my debut performance in Malaal closely, told me what was lovely and where I should have rehearsed more. They knew the backstory but never interfered. They had the confidence to give me my space knowing “bachcha sambhal lega” (I would handle it). Of course, when I reach out for help, my family is always there.
How old were you when you first watched the original Hungama?
I was eight years old and I had gone to watch the film with a classmate and his mother at Bandra’s Globus theatre. My friend didn’t speak Hindi too well so he couldn’t understand much of what was happening on screen, but his mom and I were cracking up at the jokes. Over the years, I have watched it every time it came on TV and know all the scenes and dialogues. It was wonderfully shocking when after 18 years, the makers decided to come up with a second part with me in it. Of course, our film has nothing to do with the original. Only the title is Hungama 2, otherwise it is completely new and fresh.
You spent a good part of the lockdown last year stuck in a farm on the outskirts of Mumbai. What was the experience like?
My birthday is in March and after the shoot of Hungama 2, I went to a friend’s farmhouse to celebrate. While we were there, the lockdown was announced. We thought it would be only for a few days, then, the gravity of the situation hit us and we realised we could be stuck there for months. It was an organic farm, we grew our own vegetables and cooked them. It was a simple life and being close to nature kept me grounded. I was eating green, working out, playing football with friends. The lockdown also gave me a chance to take a step back and introspect on my life and choices. I saw a lot of films and shows, started rehearsing and recording myself. That helped me improve as an actor because I’m my own best critic.
Then, a few months later, you contracted Covid…
Yes, last November, after I wrapped up Hungama 2, I went to the US and contracted the virus there. The first day, I had some body ache, then, for around two weeks, my taste and smell were gone, but otherwise I was fine.
What was it like in the US then?
Crazy! Everything was open and the hospitals were full.
What’s on the cards after Hungama 2? An action film maybe?
Yeah, hopefully they will announce it soon. I can’t go into details, but this is one genre I’ve always wanted to explore. I love action thrillers and murder mysteries.
There’s been talk of you dating Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter Navya Naveli Nanda, a rumour you have frequently refuted, sparking hope in the ladies you have won over with your muscles, dance moves, music and mystique. So, what kind of a girl would appeal to Meezaan?
It’s hard to explain because it’s all about feeling really. Two people meet and something clicks. Today, people focus on looks, but there’s a lot more that goes into a relationship. I come from a certain background and I’m looking for a girl who’s cultured and reflects the same values that have been instilled in me.