Pakistani actor Ali Zafar and ‘Vicky Donor’ actress Yami Gautam spoke about their upcoming release, ‘Total Sipyappa’, which is a funny take on Indo-Pakistan relations, at the Screen Preview.
‘Total Siyappa’ directed by E. Nivas, who had earlier directed films like ‘Shool’ and ‘My Name is Anthony Gonsalves’ was initially titled ‘Aman Ki Asha’. Produced by Neeraj Pandey, director of ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Special 26’, the film tells the tale of an Indian girl in love with a Pakistani boy.
Post her first film, ‘Vicky Donor’, Yami Gautam took her time to sign up for her next project. On being asked about how ‘Total Siyappa’ came to be, the actress says, “Neeraj was the first person I met. I loved ‘A Wednesday’ and was really excited. I read the script on a flight in one go and absolutely loved it.”
“It should have come across as a serious film, but the story is more about the day that Asha takes Aman home to meet her parents,” says Ali Zafar who plays the male lead.
Ali said that both he and Yami had infact watched ‘Total Siyappa’ the night before. “We just watched the movie last night for the first time. And it’s a different take on Indo-Pak relations. It takes you to a different place, you forget everything and you’re just with those characters. You forget all boundaries and in the end you realize that we’re all the same,” said the actor.
Talking about her preparation to play Asha, Yami said it was very different from ‘Vicky Donor’. “In ‘Vicky Donor’, I wasn’t a part of the humour. But here in ‘Total Siyappa’, I’m very much a part of the madness and the chaos.”
Though Ali has mostly worked in comic roles, the actor doesn’t accept that comedy is his forte. “’Kill Dill’ is very different. It is more action oriented. And I don’t want to keep doing only comedy. I want to expand and become a versatile actor. But for comedy I do tend to have a natural flair. I don’t have to try too hard to be funny,” he said.
When asked whether he faces any stereotypical prejudices being a Pakistani in India, Ali says, “People gather their thoughts from what they see and hear. There’s television, press and now there’s social media, but there is no direct source of communication between people from the two countries.”
Questioned on whether Yami has changed any kind of misconception that she had about Pakistanis after working with Ali, the actress replied, “I think the women there are very beautiful.” To which a laughing Ali was quick to respond, “After meeting me you thought the women of Pakistan are very beautiful?” “No no…Even the men,” she said laughingly.
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