Sanjeev K. Sharma
Despite having no family background in acting field, a lad from Doda in J&K successfully accomplished lead role in two Bollywood movies. Bollywood beckoned him after he was thrilled to watch the Bollywood movie. ‘Darr’, when he was a child studying in fourth standard, wherein the role of Shah Rukh Khan inspired him.
Mudasir Zafar starred movie ‘Nobel Peace’ has been recently released while his first movie ‘My Friends Dulhaniya’ was released in the year 2017.
Hailing from Bhadarwah, Zafar’s mother, Dr Shabia Zafar is a retired medico while his father, Zafar Batt retired from Food Corporation of India and his only sibling is his younger sister, Madhiya Rizwan a doctor, settled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Zafar did his schooling in Batote and Jammu after which he moved to Bangalore to get education in Law and there itself his interest for acting deepened as he participated in college fashion shows, Mad Ads and read plays.
In an exclusive interaction with Excelsior, Zafar said: “Though my basic interest was in cricket and I have even played for J&K in Under-19 category, yet my interest for acting grew but I didn’t know how to make a start in acting.”
He also said: “I joined Whistling Woods International-a school of acting in Mumbai run by renowned Bollywood Director, Subhash Ghai from where I did two years course in acting.”
At Whistling Woods International, Zafar met many bigwigs of Indian film industry like Naseeruddin Shah whom he called one of his mentors.
“Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan and others apart from renowned Bollywood Directors too visited the institute to teach us,” he said.
Zafar continued that after starting career from modelling, he started working in movies and his recently released Hindi film ‘Nobel Peace’ has won many awards.
“Nobel Peace has been recently released on Jio TV, Jio Plus, Jio Cinema, Shemaroo and Airtel TV and it has won many awards and travelled many film festivals all over the world like Dada Sahib Phalke Indian Cine Film Fest and Beliff International, a London Film Festival wherein the film got many good reviews,” he maintained.
The film ‘Nobel Peace’ has been shot in Bhadarwah, J&K and it revolves around one Neeraj-protagonist of the film who makes small videos to remove religious bitterness and becomes target of extremists who try to stop him in his activities.
When asked about his experience of shooting the film at home town, Zafar said, he enjoyed shooting the movie at Bhadarwah and felt comfortable as people and places were known to him besides Bhadarwah is also a beautiful place with attractive landscapes.
He further said that he had a wonderful experience on working with Hiten Tejwani in ‘Nobel Peace’ where Tejwani has played the role of Prof Shlok Manhas.
It is pertinent to mention here that Tejwani was also seen in TV programme Big Boss and in many other TV shows.
“He is a very experienced actor and I learned many things from him. There remains a different type of comfort zone when you work with some experienced actor and it also enhances our own performance,” Zafar said about his experience of working with Tejwani.
Commenting on social media platform, he said though it remains dream of most of the actors to be on silver or big screen but the OTT platform has given a chance to the talented people and many web series are being made these days benefitting many actors and technicians.
Though he initially started acting by working in TV commercials, today Zafar wishes to work with good film makers, good actors and talented people.
He said though films in Dogri, Kashmiri and Gojri are not being made at present yet if anyone wishes to make any film in these languages and involves him in such projects, he will be happy to do that.
The Actor sees the New Film Policy of J&K as a good one as it supports local languages and local talent and called it a good initiative of the authorities besides expressing optimism that it will be beneficial for J&K talent. Having not many friends in Bollywood, Zafar said that he has a limited friends circle with only 3-4 close friends in Jammu, Doda and other parts of J&K whom he finds very much encouraging and supportive while one of his friends Shaheer Sheikh also from Jammu is a good TV actor.
His role model in acting field is Tom Hank of Hollywood while at home Irfan Khan and many other good actors are also his favourites.
“Though I was inspired by many actors yet I never tried to copy their work and style and always tried to do my own style in my character and I prefer to try my best to keep my work authentic and real,” the Actor said adding that Tom Hank’s Hollywood movie ‘Cast Away’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ remained his favourite movies and he too wishes to do such films.
Among Directors, he said that he would like to work with Sriram Raghavan whose films ‘Johnny Gaddaar’, ‘Badlapur’ etc were a hit.
Walking the tough road of Bollywood, like many others dreaming of a career in the glittering world to see what the fortune has in store for them, Zafar says that he will continue acting whenever given a chance and if not, he will keep on searching for such chances.
In his message to the youth, Zafar advised them to watch realistic films with good stories and suggested to watch his ‘Nobel Peace’ and give feedback which may help him in rectifying his works of future projects.
Sanjeev K. Sharma