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FHM Pakistan
Time out with team Janaan
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Time out with team Janaan

1FHM: How was the Janaan experience?
TEAMJ:
The experience shooting Janaan was wonderful as we worked with a young, energetic and talented team. The script was beautifully written by Osman Khalid Butt, AzfarJafri’s vision as a director was absolutely spot on, and the producers Hareem Farooq, Imran Kazmi and Munir Hussain have been the biggest support throughout; and made our work easier. While we were working, we became a family on steroids, we had a lot of fun, and we were always full of energy which brought out the organic side of us. We were doing certain characters which we were quite comfortable with, and things came out naturally. All of us have become such good friends that I am sure we will remain like this forever.

FHM: Any funny or serious incidents which happened during the shoot?
BILAL:
  Well, it’s not a funny or serious incident but it’s more like an appreciable story. Despite working with such a great DOP, the most powerful and important scene of the movie was shot by UsmanMukhtar. It was one of the most difficult scenes of the movie. We shot it for 26 hours straight.

USMAN: The night we were shooting ‘Reid I Gul,’ it was one of the difficult days of shooting. It was freezing cold and we were all dressed up in wedding clothes, shooting right next to Rawal Lake.

FHM: Any crazy fan stories?
ARMEENA:
I remember during the promotions of Bin Roye, there was crazy crowd from fans in Rawalpindi. We were all just ambushed and security had problem keeping them at bay. It was quite a scary experience and we were all locked up in the basement because of the crowd going crazy. At the same time, it was very humbling to see people making such efforts to come out and support us, that way. But I saw kids being crushed and women crying which was not polite.

BILAL: Janaan has put us on an international map and it was very humbling. We were together in London where a lot of Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankans’ came up to us; from streets, tubes and everywhere; appreciating us, which was really over whelming.

FHM: What are the future plans? Any upcoming ventures?
TEAMJ:
We all are working on different projects. Usman’s next project is Parchi, and he has also a horror/thriller movie in the pipeline; which he will be directing. Ali, Armeena and Bilal have Yalghaar coming up, Bilal is currently shooting for Rangreza too and Hania has a few dramas lined up.

FHM: What were your expectations from Janaan?
TEAMJ:
We were very much positive about Janaan. As you all know, it is a fun filled movie catering everyone — from the elderly to the young and we were confident about what we have made.  In the past years there were hardly any Pakistani films in the cinemas. But, we are glad that we had a stiff competition with three Pakistani movies this Eid, which is quite an achievement for our film industry. And, we fared well in the cinemas too. The audience supported and liked us and that still continues.

FHM: What inspired you to start producing films and what made you produce Janaan before Parchi?
IRK:
The movie “ZibhaKhana” inspired me to start producing films. In 2011, with only 5 lack Rupees as a budget I wanted to make ‘Siyaah’. That is when I found AzfarJafri and we started working together on this project. Since then we became a team and planned on working for other projects as well. We were supposed to make Parchi, which is an all-out comedy film but before that we thought of making something Pakistan centric. We wanted to show the rich Pakhtun cultural heritage. As rom-com is Osman Khalid Butt’s forte, we couldn’t find anyone better than him to write a script for us. Through Janaan, we wanted to break the stereotypes and wanted to show that Pakistani or Pakhtun’s are abnormally normal or normally abnormal or as crazy as everyone else is.

Time out with team JanaanFHM: How were you discovered by Imran Raza Kazmi? How was your experience directing Janaan?
AJ:
  I started off as an animator, spent seven years animating, and later the interest of films grew on me. I started making short films and over the period of time got positive feedback. Imran and I started off with our first project Siyaah which made us a team. While directing Janaan, I learnt a lot, in terms of scale of product; otherwise it was pretty much the same.

Time out with team JanaanFHM: You started your film career with Hindi film “Huff! It’s Too Much” in a lead role, but got a break in Pakistani film “Bin Roye” as a supporting actor. How did you feel about that?
ARMEENA:
I think it was good working in a leading role where I was very much in the limelight, but having said that, I was lucky enough to work with Mahira and Humayun. They are very established names and are institutions when it comes to acting.  Despite my acting, I was very much nervous on first day at the set. My cast and crew were quite supportive and never let me think of being a second lead or something. I think it’s a natural transition and I am glad that I started off with a supporting role because then it gave me the opportunity to gauge around how the industry works and experiments. It made me realize my scope and I think the standards of Pakistani acting are way up. Whether it is represented in the final product or not, but the actors are at par with any other international actors because of working in the conditions we do our dramas and films. We work extra hard because we don’t have those facilities and I think it’s a good thing for everyone as it also gives me a chance to explore myself, as an actor.

FHM: How did u feel representing Pakistan at the Cannes film festival?
ARMEENA:
It was a great experience and an achievement for me. Being a first Pakistani ever to represent Pakistan at the Cannes Film Festival and to walk the red carpet was over-whelming. It was not too much, but the kind of company I was rubbing shoulders with like Steven Spielberg and Nicole Kidman made me feel larger than life. There is something really magical about seeing your childhood icons there in the flesh and then you realize that they are people, just like us.

Time out with team Janaan

FHM: You played a character which was complete opposite of who you are in real? Did you face any difficulties?
USMAN:
Not really, It was actually fun. I, unfortunately, didn’t have a big role but the days I spent shooting the film with amazing co-stars and director was a wonderful experience. The character I have played is totally opposite of who I am in real life.

Time out with team Janaan

FHM: 021 and Yalghaar are action genre movies. How was the experience working for a rom-com?
BILAL:
Janaan really made me explore a lot of different things. Yalghaar was all action, but Janaan is completely different and it let me explore all kinds of aspects of an actor. I think the good thing is that, I got to learn a lot from it. In terms of acting I worked with great actors, directors, producers and writers. It was very refreshing and took me through all sorts of emotions — serious, romantic, vulnerable, etc. An actor has to evolve and if you evolve in a role; you learn something new, you have to be open minded without any pre requisites or conditions. It’s whatever director wants me to do; I deliver it the same way. I try to do it in my best capacity.

FHM: There are not many Visual effect directors in Pakistan. Will you continue directing movies or you will keep your total focus on acting?
BILAL:
It depends on the director who I work with, because not many people are on the same wavelength. I will continue doing the kind of things I want to do, and the sort of projects I love. Currently, I am concentrating on acting with which I am having fun. However, it does not mean I will not do visual effects at all. I was the VFX Director for Yalghaar and now for Waar 2.

Time out with team Janaan

FHM: Your Debut movie Slackistan got banned in Pakistan; did it demotivate you in any way?
ALI:
Yes, I was demotivated a little because it was really hard for us all in Islamabad to make our presence felt. Slackistan was conceptual and indie, something Pakistani audience would not accept. We wanted to make a slacker film because we wanted to show the other side of Islamabad. It was very much demotivating for us because at that time we were young, recently out of theatre and were offered a film, which was a big thing. But that kind of played really well, as it gave us positive recognition internationally. I didn’t know this until we were in London, giving interviews and people were actually talking about Slackistan.

FHM: How did you feel after winning HUM Award for Best Television Sensation Male?
ALI:
I felt really good! I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t know that it was a stand-alone award reserved for one only. Till the last minute, I thought I was competing with someone. I was quite happy that I created a buzz and people appreciated me for the work I did.

Time out with team JanaanFHM: How were you discovered? How was your experience working as a debutante?
HANIA:
I used to make Dubsmash videos and had a good following on Instagram. It is how I was actually discovered; the producers saw me on Facebook and contacted me for the character. I wasn’t nervous at all because Osman Khalid Butt and I did few a reading sessions at first. Hence, I was comfortable with the script and also knew my character well. Although, working long hours were tiring but it was quite an experience.

Time out with team Janaan

RAPID FIRE

Armeena Rana Khan:

Favourite Actor?
Al Pacino

Favourite Actress?
Angelina Jolie

Favourite Film?
Amellie

Are you a foodie?
Not really

Your Fitness Mantra?
I like keeping myself fit.

Favourite holiday destination?
Dominican Republic

Place you have recently visited?
London

Place you wish to visit?
Peru

What would you choose, Hollywood or Bollywood?
I have worked in both.

Favourite Designer?
I have a list, can’t choose one.

Favourite Perfume?
Flower bomb – Viktor & Rolf.

Ali Rehman Khan:
Favourite Actor?
Robert De Niro

Favourite Actress?
Meryl Streep

Favourite Film?
GodFather

Are you a foodie?
Yes

Your Fitness Mantra?
Go to the gym and eat clean.

Favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere where there is a beach.

Place you have recently visited?
Vienna

Place you wish to visit?
Berlin

What would you choose, Hollywood or Bollywood?
Hollywood

Favourite Designer?
Tom Ford

Favourite Perfume?
Cartier Pasha

Bilal Ashraf:

Favourite Actor?
Anthony Hopkins

Favourite Actress?
Monica Bellucci

Favourite Film?
Janaan

Are you a foodie?
Yes

Your Fitness Mantra?
Eat fit, stay fit.

Favourite holiday destination?
London

Place you have recently visited?
London

Place you wish to visit?
London

What would you choose, Hollywood or Bollywood?
Hollywood

Favourite Designer?
HSY

Favourite Perfume?
Aventus

UsmanMukhtar:

Favourite Actor?
Al Pacino

Favourite Actress?
Julia Roberts

Favourite Film?
Scarface & Gangs of Wasseypur.

Are you a foodie?
Yes, big time.

Your Fitness Mantra?
I actually don’t have a fitness mantra.

Favourite holiday destination?
Northern Pakistan.

Place you have recently visited?
Haven’t visited any place recently.

Place you wish to visit?
Iceland

What would you choose, Hollywood or Bollywood?
Hollywood

Favourite Designer?
I would wear anything, not a brand conscious person.

Favourite Perfume?
Swiss Army Classic

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