Ali (Abbas) Zafar – Who?
Many confuse the actor Ali Zafar, with the director Ali Abbas Zafar. While Ali Zafar is a Pakistani pop star and actor (who also starred in the Bollywood film Tere Bin Laden) Ali Abbas Zafar is from Dehradun, India. In fact, Ali Abbas Zafar makes his directorial debut with Mere Brother Ki Dulhan but has worked as an assistant director in several films before including New York, Tashan, etc.
Katrina Agreed In 3 Hours
Katrina Kaif was the first heroine approached to play the out-and-out rockstar-girl role in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Says director Ali Abbas Zafar, “When I approached Katrina, she loved the script so much that she agreed to do the film within 3 hours of reading it.” That must be a first!
Ali Zafar – Ullu Da Patha
Ali Abbas Zafar knew Ali Zafar as a Pakistani rockstar through the Pakistani TV show Coke Studio (that has since come to India as MTV Coke Studio). But what really impressed the director were the acting skills displayed by Ali Zafar displayed in Tere Bin Laden. “More than anything else, his expressions in the song Ullu da pattha got me thinking… something that finally led to him being cast as the ‘Brother’,” says Ali Abbas.
When Imran Khan Felt The Title Was Too Cheesy
Foreign educated, city-boy Imran Khan could not digest the long title Hindi title, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, when he was first approached by the then aspiring director Ali Abbas Zafar. Says Imran, “I thought that a film with such a title would be typical masala Bollywood entertainer.” And fresh out of shooting for Delhi Belly, Imran wasn’t necessarily looking forward to doing a Bollywood entertainer. But when Imran’s mother read the script, which was lying at their house, she just loved it. It was her positive feedback that got Imran to read the script. However, since Imran was very busy those days, he got Ali Abbas Zafar to narrate the script to him via Skype! Of course, Imran agreed with his mother and star in the film. The rest, as they say, is history…
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Inspired By A Matrimonial Ad
Ali Abbas Zafar, who hails from the heartland of India, was looking for a subject for making his own film. One fine day, he glanced upon a matrimonial advertisement page in a daily. “I was amazed at the language used to describe a prospective bride or a groom… it was like a market!” This inspired Zafar to explore a story which would talk about the typically Indian way of organizing marriages.
Katrina had to act drunk for a crucial sequence in the movie – her intoxicated act was so authentic that everyone present on the set was sure that she must have had a few drinks, which was not the case. Ali Zafar was extremely impressed with her genuine acting and reacted with a loud “Mashallah!”
Katrina Kaif Wields A Gun
In a funny and quirky scene between Imran and Katrina, director Ali Abbas found something amiss. He decided to add a gun as a fun and interesting element to the scene but while shooting, Imran accidentally hit the gun on Katrina’s nose and her nose started bleeding. Katrina was a very good sport about it all and continued shooting after she took a quick break in order to regain herself. Katrina was such a good sport that she even agreed to ride in an open rickshaw during one of the scenes in the film.
Imran Khan Sick Of Checkered Shirts
Imran Khan’s wardrobe for the film consisted mostly of checked shirts as he went about playing matchmaker for his brother. But IK was so sick of seeing and wearing those checks that he decided to get rid of them! After wrapping up the film’s shoot, the actor gathered all his checked shirts from his personal wardrobe and gave them away to his friends.
Imran Khan’s Dehradun Connection
Imran Khan thoroughly enjoyed shooting around the beautiful locales of Dehradun for MBKD. Shooting in this northern city particularly made Imran emotional as his great uncle, Nasir Hussain, had some memorable times in Dehradun which he had told Imran about. Also his wife Avantika’s maternal family is from Dehradun, which made Imran feel very much at home. Massive crowds appeared to watch Imran Khan shoot at Dehradun Railway Station. The public was uncontrollable and went wild – they only relented when Imran took the mike and requested everyone to be quiet in order for the crew to be able to shoot. Imran was a clear favourite and worked the Dehradun crowd very well by obliging fans with waves, hugs and pictures!
When Distributors Loved The Film So Much
It is well known that Yash Raj Films do not show their movies to the press before release (Find out why) but they do hold special screenings for their star cast and their all-India distributors. In one such screening, the distributors loved the film so much that they decided to stay back another day in order to watch the movie again next day with the star cast! And they increased the number of prints of the film by about 300-350. Their confidence in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan tells us a lot about how the film is going to be.