I recently got the chance to talk to Joseph Andrew Mclean about his role in ‘Mausam’. Here, Joseph talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew and which three guests she would invite to dinner…
Hey Joseph. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Mausam’.
No problem, I’m more than happy to talk about this film.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
At the heart of the story, ‘Mausam’ is a love story. It’s a story that follows the path of love through all four seasons, and through all of life’s trials and tribulations. At the centre of the story are the characters of Harry and Aayat, played by Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a British RAF Officer. We befriend Harry, who is an Indian Air Force Officer, when he comes to Scotland to train with the RAF. My character is with Harry and the other IAF and RAF Officers when he is in Edinburgh. We socialise, go to cafes, the theatre, spend time at the Officers HQ and finally attend a grand ball.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
My agent phoned me and asked me to attend a casting in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to be selected that day, told I had the part and was fitted for my RAF costume that afternoon. In total there were three British RAF Officers, all played by Scottish actors. Initially I was told it was just a few days’ work on the film, but I ended up working for nearly a month, as we were involved in more scenes.
How would you say this film is different and unique to other thrillers? Obviously you have the war aspect and the faith and ethnic properties of the film…
For me, it was different because it’s a Bollywood film dealing with drama and a love story. I can’t say I’m an expert on Bollywood cinema, but everyone who knew I was involved with the film asked if I had to do any dancing or singing, this was the impression most people had of Bollywood cinema. So for me, it was unique in that from the first day in our wardrobe fitting it was apparent this film would be different as it was dealing with issues regarding war and religion in India.
The film stars Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Supriya Pathak – with Pankaj Kapur onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Most of my scenes were with Shahid, the first time we met him was at a rehearsal for the ballroom scene. He was very quiet and reserved, but on our first days filming he was joking with us and put us all at ease. Pankaj was a joy to work with, he ran a tight ship and you knew who was boss, but he was a great man to work for, very approachable and quite laid back, but at the end of the day it was his script and his film, so you knew how much it meant to him.
Let’s talk a bit about you Joseph. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I wanted to be a writer or work behind the camera, but I have been lucky enough to get jobs in front of it. My first job was in a film called ‘Regeneration’. Since then I have worked on TV and films shot in Scotland. This year I’m focusing more on writing and directing. I have completed my first short film and I’m in pre-production for another out here in Los Angeles.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
I would say just keep trying and never give up. Even when you feel you should get a “proper job”, just keep reminding yourself why you love your work and give it your all. I would say that to anyone no matter what they choose to do for a living. For me I just want to do something I love and I think everyone should, if you love what you do it shows in your work.
You’ve been in a number of different film and TV projects – who has been your favourite actor to work with and which project has been your favourite to be a part of?
I enjoyed watching Robert Carlyle in ‘Carla’s Song’, I was just a schoolboy back then, but he was playing a Glasgow bus driver and I was a school boy at the bus stop. He drove the bus for each take, but got off and walked back as another driver reversed it. He was so down to earth and just seemed a really nice guy. He is brilliant in that film and he is a fantastic actor. My Dad and our old dog are also in a scene with Robert, my Dad was out walking her and the film crew asked him to be an extra.
I think so far the Bollywood project has been my favourite, I worked with some great people, hung out in Edinburgh and ate authentic Indian food for nearly a month, what’s not to like! Aside from that, my short film ‘First Impressions’ was also a joy to work on and it’s lovely to see your work go from script to screen, something I want to keep doing.
If you could have dinner with three people, (living or dead) who would you choose and why?
- John F. Kennedy – to speak about politics and Marilyn Monroe.
- Jon Stewart – I love The Daily Show and he makes me laugh.
- Ron Paul – I really like this guy’s honesty on certain policies such as the war on drugs. I’m not a Republican, but it would be interesting to sit down and talk with him.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
My favourite place in the whole world is a little place in Scotland, called Cove, which is near Helensburgh. It was our family retreat for years during my youth and one of the best places on earth as far as I’m concerned.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
I have a short film in pre-production here in Los Angeles, I’m hoping to shoot that in January. I also have two or three other scripts and ideas that I’m looking to complete in 2012 and get them all from script to screen in the near future.
Thanks for the interview!