After singing up for an original Indian OTT show starring Juhi Chawla and Sara Ali Khan, Meesha Shafi is on her way to make her mark in the acting world alongside The Patriot Act’s Hasan Minhaj. Imran J Khan, writer and director, is working on his first feature film titled Mustache and has already gathered an ensemble cast for the Pakistani-American coming-of-age flick.
According to Deadline, up until now, Rizwan Manji, Atharva Verma, Ayana Manji, Meesha, Alicia Silverstone and Hasan have signed on to star in the largely autobiographical project. Mustache reportedly follows Ilyas (Atharva), an eccentric 13-year-old boy who sets off to navigate the social hierarchy of his new California public school with a moustache his parents will not allow him to shave off. Rizwan will play Ilyas’ father Hameed, with the Muaziz Sarif singer Meesha playing his mother, and Ayana portraying his school friend, Yasmeen.
Aside from the mentioned characters, Imran has decided to keep the roles of Alicia and Hasan a secret so far.
The famed producer Christina Won of Birdman and Jessica Sittig of MakeSay will be joining the team alongside American Light and Fixture’s Christopher Storer and Tyson Bidner — the duo behind the hit series Ramy and The Bear for Hulu and FX, respectively.
Speaking about starring in a “personal and eccentric” story, Rizwan told Deadline, “I am excited to be a part of a project that tells a universal coming of age story in ways that we haven’t seen before and from a diverse perspective. Mustache is an honest representation of growing up Muslim in the 90s. I found the script special, and immediately connected to the father son relationship that is central to the film.”
The production duo Christina and Jessica further remarked Mustache as “highlighting an underrepresented culture.” They added, “Imran is an incredible talent and he draws from his own personal experiences growing up in the bay area in the 90s to create a film with laughs and a lot of heart. We couldn’t be prouder to bring this story to light.”
Khan has previously written and directed a number of award-winning shorts including 2016’s Prom, which was based on ideas from Hasan’s stand-up special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. He’s worked on the editing teams for films ranging from Space Jam: A New Legacy to Minions: The Rise of Gru, and was recently selected for the Pillars Artist Fellowship, created by Riz Ahmed’s Left-Handed Films and Pillars Fund to champion and mentor Muslim writers and directors.
Meesha’s acting feature credits, although small, include To Strike, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mira Nair’s thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist, while Hasan is an actor and comedian known for hosting the Peabody Award-winning Netflix series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, and for comedy specials including Homecoming King and The King’s Jester, the latter of which debuted on the platform just this month. Recently, he has also appeared on The Morning Show and in films like The Spy Who Dumped Me. Also coming up for him is Justin Simien’s Haunted Mansion film for Disney, which is slated for release next August.