Meezaan Jaffrey: ‘My Father Was Not A Shah Rukh Khan. So Doors Didn’t Open for Me’

Meezaan Jaffrey: ‘My Father Was Not A Shah Rukh Khan. So Doors Didn’t Open for Me’

Meezaan Jaffrey, son of veteran Jaaved Jaffrey, talks about his debut Malaal that released last week and where he goes from here
Meezaan Jaffrey: ‘My Father Was Not A Shah Rukh Khan. So Doors Didn’t Open for Me’
Meezaan Jaffery

Malaal, which launched the multi-faceted  Jaaved Jaffrey’s son Meezan along with Sanjay Bhansali’s niece Sharmin, has opened to tepid reviews  and discouraging collections. But Meezan is the one element of this labour of love that in Malaal that’s come off with flying colours.

When I catch up with Meezaan on the day after release he had just finished another  day  of hectic  promotions.  “I have given three years of my  life  to Malaal. To see  it in theatres  in the beautiful  shape that  it has taken, is  a  very big deal for me. To be launched by Sanjay sir (Bhansali) is every aspiring  actor’s dream. I owe my career to him. That he saw some  spark in me and signed me for not just one but three films is more than I  had ever hoped for,” says Meezaan.

The  enormously talented youngster admits it hasn’t been a career advantage to have Jaaved Jaffrey as a father . “He was not a Shah Rukh Khan. So doors didn’t open for me when I decided to become an actor. He  never got his dues in this industry. So I was never given access into big  production houses. I have faced my share of slammed doors on my face.”

The  reviews of Malaal have all praised  Meezaan.  But  he isn’t getting carried away by the  attention. “I’ve seen too much struggle and too many failures in my family. My grandfather (the veteran comedian Jagdeep) never got the recognition he  deserved. The same   goes for  my father. I  know I  can’t take my success for  granted, if and when it comes. And even if I were to get  carried away, my family is there to pull back to earth. It is very important to have a realistic support system at work. My parents have always been very strict with me. That isn’t likely to change just because I am an actor now.”

As Meezaan gets widely noticed for his  performance in Malaal, he looks ahead at a fruitful career. “I’ve grown up on the films of  the great Mr Dilip Kumar and the great Mr Amitabh Bachchan. Their films were constantly played in our home. I grew up knowing these were the touchstones of acting.”

What one notices immediately about Meezaan is his outstanding  dancing skills. A legacy of his father, perhaps, though he doesn’t dance anything like any other dancing heroes of Bollywoood including his father.

Meezaan perks up. “I am  glad  you  noticed  that. My father and my uncle (Naved Jaffrey) have  also told me that I’ve my own dancing style. I never cultivated a dancing or acting style because acting was  not my first career option until recently. Now that I’m here. I am here to stay. I  wish Malaal had got a  better opening. Maybe we should have promoted the film better. Or maybe we could’ve done certain things during the shooting differently. When you are so  close to a project for  three years  you lose your objectivity. But  that’s okay. I am proud  of  every frame of  Malaal.”

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