Mangesh Hadawale's Malaal will see newbies Meezaan - grandson of veteran actor Jagdeep and son of Jaaved Jaaferi and Sharmin Segal - niece of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, making their debut in Bollywood. While the film has been backed by Bhansali himself, Meezaan and Sharmin have worked with the filmmaker in the past. Pictures courtesy/Meezaan and Sharmin's Instagram account, Yogen Shah and Pallav Paliwal
While Sharmin has assisted Sanjay Bhansali in Baajirao Mastani and Mary Kom, Meezaan had assisted the director in Padmaavat, which starred Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. Very few know that there were two scenes in Padmaavat where he stepped in for Ranveer.
Meezaab was at the set of Padmaavat, when the crew was discussing how it's going to be difficult to shoot some scenes because Ranveer was unavailable due to a brand commitment. But Sanjay Leela Bhansali said 'we'll do it', and to Meezaan's surprise, he turned to him and said he should do it. The next day on the set, the team asked Meezaan to memorise all Ranveer Singh's gestures and lines as Khilji.
Sharmin Segal's mother Bela Segal is also in the film world. She has worked as a film editor in Black, Devdas and also directed the film Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi.
To be an actor was not a childhood dream of Meezaan but it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali who not only gave him a dream but also believed in him and made it real by launching him with Malaal.
Sharmin Segal too wasn't sure if she wants to take up acting professionally. However, she had an interest in performances.
Though Meezaan hails from a filmy background, he has seen the good and also the dark phase of his father's career. There was a time when Jaaved Jaaferi, being a family man, did films so that he could pay bills for many things including Meezaan's education. Since Meezaan has seen his father's struggle, he is now focused on his work.
Talking about Sharmin Segal, the star kid has decided that she will not rely on her family name to get work, but only on talent and hard work. She definitely has understood that only talent and the liking of the audience can make any actor survive in Bollywood. "From the beginning of my journey, I have been told not to rely on the relationship with Sanjay sir even to gain popularity, or to get photographed. I know that the comment on nepotism will come my way, but did I choose my family? We don't, right? Therefore, I do not want to be judged on that. I would rather want people to praise and criticize me because of who I am on-screen. Having said that, of course I will work hard to justify every opportunity that comes my way," said Sharmin Segal.
Malaal's story is set in Mumbai where Shiva, a Marathi youngster from a chawl, falls in love with a north Indian. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Meezaan had an urban upbringing. Playing the character of a Marathi young man in Malaal was certainly not easy for his debut film. However, a year-long workshop and guidance of director Mangesh Hadawale and producer Sanjay Leela Bhanshali helped him to find the nuance of the character.
Sharmin Segal went through a transformation before deciding to take up acting as a career. She lost extra pounds and built herself up emotionally to perform different characters on-screen. However, Sharmin lost weight because she felt she was unfit physically and was not comfortable with her extra kilos.
Apart from his father, Meezaan's uncle Naved Jafri was long associated with the popular show Boogie Woogie, and his grandfather Jagdeep was a celebrated comedian in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Talking about his inspiration, Meezaan said, "When you have a Jagjit and Jaaved Jaaferi at home, you do not need to look outside for talent, it is abundant in the house."
Sharmin Segal grew up in a household where films are discussed daily, but she said she did not understand the power of her uncle's work until later. "I remember everyone was emotional after the screening of Devdas, people praised the film Black, and they were crying while watching the film. I was like, 'What happened to them?' I was around five years old then and had zero understanding of such intense cinema. But from the time I started developing an interest, my Sanjay uncle became Sanjay sir," said Sharmin.
Here's wishing all the very best to Meezaan and Sharmin, as they embark on a new journey with Malaal.
The day is finally here when star kids Meezaan and Sharmin Segal's Bollywood debut Malaal is set to hit theatres. As the film releases today, here's all you need to know about the actors.
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