Pakistani actors may have been unofficially banned in India and Bollywood, but they continue to make waves on their own and with three films hitting the box office this Eid, we can proudly say that they really don’t need to cross the border to make their presence felt.
Mehwish Hayat and Fahad Mustafa, who are all geared up for the release of their romantic comedy Load Wedding in a recent interview with Gulf News commented that the unofficial boycott of Pakistani artists in Bollywood doesn’t really bother them much.
“I don’t know if the ban is pukka [solid] or not… But Pakistani cinema is evolving and we have different stories to tell. I saw that Shahid Kapoor film’s [Batti Gul Meter Chalu] trailer and they are copying our films… and that’s not a bad thing. But I don’t think we should be having this debate,” Fahad Mustafa remarked.
Hayat pitches in commenting that Batti Gul is “inspired” by Actor In Law, the 2016 Pakistani blockbuster that featured her and Mustafa in the lead and was directed by Load Wedding director Nabeel Qureshi.
She added that the focus should be on the bigger picture.
“We should be focusing on our own industry. They [Bollywood] are really big… We can’t show their movies when they are not showing our films. It has to be mutual and then we can talk about friendships. First, we need to build ourselves so that we can compete with films from the rest of the world, not just Bollywood,” she said.
Both the actors, believe that their latest film will help them strengthen Pakistan’s rising film industry.
“Load Wedding has a different kind of vibe to it. It’s a well-made film which will define Pakistani cinema in a new way. This is our best work till date,” said Mustafa.
The ban on Pakistani artists working in Bollywood came about two years ago, right before the release of Fawad Khan’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan’s Raees alongside Shah Rukh Khan.