Imtiaz Ali Calls His Black Friday Role Was A Mistake & Was Tricked Into Playing Yakub Memon By Anurag Kashyap
Imtiaz Ali Recalls His Black Friday Role Was A Mistake & Was Tricked Into Playing Yakub Memon By Anurag Kashyap, “Vo Merko Zaleel Karna Chahta Hoga” (Photo Credit: Instagram; IMDb; Wikimedia)

Imtiaz Ali is a well-known filmmaker who helmed films like Jab We Met, Rockstar, Tamasha, Highway, Love Aaj Kal, and many more. He has won several awards as well for his films. But not many know that he had a lesser-known but pivotal role in Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday.

Imtiaz portrayed the character of Yakub Memon. During a recent interview, Imtiaz opened up about how he landed on playing the role and why he agreed to play the role in Anurag’s film. He also unveiled an interesting facet of Anurag’s ambitions, revealing that his initial dream was to become an actor, not a filmmaker.

Imtiaz Ali recently appeared on Lallantop, where he revealed that he had a close friendship with Anurag Kashyap since their days at Delhi University. “Anurag banana actor chahta tha. I saw a portfolio for the first time when Anurag showed me his. I didn’t know that I would become a director one day and I would see a lot of portfolios, but the first portfolio I saw was of Anurag. He has his pictures showing muscles. He came to me because I was a part of the production team of a TV show that was going to be shot at DU. The first person who came to me to ask for a role was Anurag. He was at Hansraj College, I was at Hindu College. He found me in my hostel and showed me his portfolio. I was like this man is so serious about his work that he got so many pictures clicked from every angle.”

Although Imtiaz was originally set to direct Anurag, the situation took a turn when Anurag approached the Jab We Met director for a role in Black Friday. When discussing his hesitant choice to join the cast of Black Friday, Imtiaz openly confessed, “Everybody makes mistake when they are young. I made the mistake of listening to him. We spent a lot of time together. We lived together in the same building. I wrote the first scene of Black Friday, we used to be really involved in each other’s work. I don’t know what he was thinking when he told me to do the role of Yakub Memon. I think this was his stubbornness, vo merko zaleel karna chahta hoga (he wanted to embarrass me). He told me, ‘Mein apke liye jaan de sakta hu, aap mere liye role nahi kar sakte’. He told me with this much emotion only because he is, after all, a struggling actor (laughs). He was acting at that time also.”

The director disclosed that Anurag was the one who requested him not to trim his hair, as he had plans for additional scenes in the movie. Following this, the director decided to keep his hair long and never went for a short haircut. “This is why I have long hair now,” said Imtiaz Ali.

Following his directorial debut with Paanch, Anurag Kashyap’s second venture, Black Friday, was both written and directed by him. The movie draws inspiration from the book “Black Friday: The True Story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts” by Hussain Zaidi, which chronicles the 1993 Bombay bombings. Black Friday explores the incidents that led to the bombings and the ensuing police investigation.

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