Ahmad Ali Butt, Fahad Mustafa, Mawra Hocane, Humayun Saeed, Kubra Khan and Vasay Chaudhry strike a pose at the Gulf News studio. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

If Pakistani lad comedy Jawani Phir Nahi Ani was hailed as a laughter riot about four dudes who embark on an adventure filled with a glorious boys’ trip in Bangkok and shrill wives who nag their better halves for a living, wait till you hang out with the actors who brought it all to life on the big screens.

This wacky gang is collectively gregarious, goofy and all things in between, as Gulf News tabloid! witnessed their antics during their recent press junket to Dubai to promote their Eid release, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2. Six of the actors including Humayun Saeed, Fahad Mustafa, Ahmad Ali Butt, Vasay Chaudhry, Mawra Hocane and Kubra Khan nipped down to our newsroom on Shaikh Zayed Road to spend an evening with us.

From the moment they stepped into the Gulf News office, it was clear that they were game for anything. Case in point: when our photographer couldn’t get that perfect cover shot of all of the six talents in one frame, Butt dove to the ground and stuck a lying-down Buddha pose and flashed a toothy grin.

A scene from ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’, the 2015 original film.

Who would have thought this jocular actor had just been to a hospital when a kettle of hot tea fell on his shoulders earlier that day during breakfast? He powered through the junket, organised by Parallel Lines in the UAE, like an absolute professional. The others kept it equally real.

Pakistani superstar and prolific producer Humayun Saeed had no qualms about wolfing down a burger during his ride to our newsroom as we filmed a video for our social media pages. Clearly, he had his priorities right.

The full cast of ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’.

And, who said three’s a crowd?
The spectacular six made sure that they gave us precious insights into their film, their zany personalities and their take on infidelity (Remember that the first instalment of JPNA had four men who refused to grow up and were prone to lying to their wives)… Here are a few things we learnt about them during their exclusive interaction with Gulf News tabloid!.

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2, directed by Nadeem Beyg, will focus on the story more than just a situational comedy about four men:
Saeed, who played a pivotal role in the first instalment, swears that the makers united their forces to focus on a more gripping story. “In the first instalment, our focus was on comedy and the comic situations arising from certain incidents.

But this time our focus is on the story. There’s an Indo-Pak love story added in the second part. There’s also a strand on the budding relationship between another couple. There’s also a bromance brewing among the four men and they are carrying forward the fun … This time around we have fine Indian talents such as Kanwaljit Singh,” said Seed in Urdu.

The trailer may declare in loud fonts that the ‘boys are back’, but the women have strong roles too in JPNA 2:
The insanely popular Mawra Hocane, who makes her movie debut with this comedy, claims that she enjoyed being a part of the film, but her debut is also her way of paying it forward to the men who have supported women-centric TV series for the longest time.

“I have no problem in being a part of a male-centric film as my debut. These boys have stood with us without airing any complaint for several years in our women-centric TV serials in Pakistan. But because this is an age of feminism, we are talking about these things [the relevance of her role and whether she’s an eye-candy]. My role will take the story forward… There’s an agenda here. Even if I did not act in this, I would have supported this film by watching it in the cinemas even if it is dominated by boys. I am taking one for the boy’s team here.”

Compare JPNA 2 to any Bollywood film, but not to the Hindi adult hit Grand Masti series:
Writer and actor of JPNA 2 Vasay Chaudhry has a request for all his patrons and fans: refrain from comparing this comedy series to the raunchy Grand Masti series. And remember, that every story of four best friends is not necessarily inspired from the Hollywood hit series Hangover or the Hindi cult friendship film Dil Chahta Hai.

“What I found ridiculous was when JPNA was compared to Masti and Grand Masti. I was offended because it’s nowhere near that and it will never be that… JPNA was a sweet story as it was a Pakistani interpretation of four guys and their friendship. Same is the case with this new film. It’s also a ‘new 2018 take’ [topical] on approaching India-Pakistan issue,” said Chaudhry, who was written and acted in the film.

The actors claim that the India-Pakistan threads woven into the film has no bloodshed or violence:
“Usually there is a lot of violence and tension when there’s any India-Pakistan issue is broached, but we don’t have any guns in the film. There is only one ancestral gun being used and some swords. It is a different take… a sweet take.”

JPNA came under fire for a vulgar song that had women dancing in bathing suits on a beach. The sequel will not have any such scenes:
While Saeed adopted a pragmatic stand on women wearing bathing suits in a beach in Thailand, he is being doubly cautious in the second instalment.

“Truth be told, even when we are shooting that song it didn’t feel wrong. It was a beach song and usually on a beach, girls wear swimsuits. I remember asking my director if there will be any problem with our censor board, but he said there won’t be any on that front. But it is true that our audiences have a problem if they see their women on the big screen in bathing suits, even if they are in a beach. Our audience don’t want to see the girls from their country dress in that manner,” said Saeed.

The actor explained that they were trying to keep things realistic in their film and that the idea was not to titillate or shock their audiences.

The ‘JPNA 2’ cast at the Gulf News office.

Actor and writer Chaudhry pitches in and supports Saeed’s claims by saying that it was their moment of “Anurag Kashyapism” — alluding to cult Indian director known for his dark and realistic independent films.

“If you look at that film again, that song, in our faces there was a bit of hesitation. We were trying to act cool, but there was a bit of doubt. It was our moment of Anurag Kashyapism. We were trying to create realistic cinema and it didn’t go down well. This time, there are no bikinis. In fact, the boys were not allowed to wear even half sleeve T-shirts. With Fahad Mustafa, our fittest actor, we made him sign a contract that said he won’t wear revealing shirts in our movie,” said Chaudhry with a laugh.

Hocane, with a robust 2.8 million followers on her Instagram account, was the in-house social media expert on the sets of JPNA 2:
Apart from learning her lines and looking fabulous on the big screen, Hocane was tasked with another important duty. To teach her JPNA 2 stars on how to rule the social media.

“I helped lauch Fawad Mustafa’s Instagram account and explained to them how it works,” said Hocane with a laugh.

Chaudhry adds that she also taught them a thing or two on social media protocol, ethics of posting and on how to handle trolls like a boss lady.

“Once she was taking a picture for Fahad’s Instagram account and I took a picture of her taking that pic and posted it. She was upset for over three days because she said that I cannot steal someone’s thunder before they launched their account. Did you know there are intricate ethics and morals, political correctness… You can’t take a picture of a picture because the original actual picture will lose the following,” said Chaudhry.

Meanwhile, the team calls Butt the selfie-king of their JPNA 2 gang.


Did you know?

Fahad Mustafa took the longest to get ready… His gelled hair, that defies gravity, isn’t easy to maintain, his co-stars reckon. The silver lining? His punctuality and his time management.

“Even if he has a super hairstyle to do and his call time for shoot is 8am, he will make sure that he is up at 5am to get ready. He’s very professional.”

Mustafa’s response to all the ribbing: “What do old men know about dressing up and getting ready like a metrosexual?”

On infidelity and lies...

Infidelity and lying to your wives was a recurring theme of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani. Keeping that in mind, Gulf News tabloid! threw a naughty question their way. Have they ever cheated on their partners? Here are their responses …

Vasay Chaudhry: “I have cheated on my wife with Humayun Saeed because I was writing the script of his film for over three years.”

Mawra Hocane: “If you want to cheat, then why be with a partner?”

Kubra Khan: “I am against cheating.”

Humayun Saeed: “I don’t cheat without telling. I tell and cheat… just joking.”

Fahad Mustafa: “I have been a huge follower of Humayun Saeed for everything.”

Don’t miss it!

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2 will release in the UAE cinemas this Eid.