Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar, whose debut film Tere Bin Laden released this year, has started shooting for his first Bollywood venture.
The actor is appearing in a supporting role in a Yash Raj Films production which stars Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles.
Zafar tweeted this week: “First day of shooting (is) relaxed, chilled. Imran, Katrina (are) fun to work with. Dir and the whole crew (are) lovely. Weather (is) romantic. Film (is a) romantic comedy!”
Khan has not done a Yash Raj film before, but has delivered hits for productions by Aamir Khan and Karan Johar. However, Katrina Kaif and Khan may be exactly what the flop-hit film studio needs. The former is widely believed to be a guaranteed ‘hit-maker’ because a film she stars in has rarely flopped.
Yash Raj Films has not had a hit since 2009’s New York, which also starred Kaif. Their last productions - Dil Bole Hadippa, Rocket Singh, Pyaar Impossible, Lafangey Parindey and Badmaash Company did not do well at the box office despite starring big name actors such as Rani Mukherjee, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor -though Rocket Singh did earn praise from critics.
Bollywood directors such as Karan Johar were full of praise for Zafar’s work in Tere Bin Laden and tweeted incessantly about the film. Johar wrote on Twitter at the time: “Just saw Tere Bin Laden … wonderfully satirical … some fall down funny moments and great ensemble performances … @AliZafarforu (Zafar’s Twitter handle) is superb!”
At a press conference in Karachi in July, Zafar denied rumours he was moving to India. The musician told The Express Tribune that while he would travel to any country for work, “my home will always be Lahore.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2010.