The new father's joy brims over. " The three most defining moments in a guy's life are, when his father calls him his son, when the woman he loves call him her husband and when his child calls him father. I've gone through all these defining moments. My parents are ecstatic. Words cannot express their happiness. My Dad says, 'My third copy is out.' In fact, our entire house is being re-done for him. It's been a long time since any renovation was done in the house. But we never had any incentive. He came home on Wednesday Jan 23. We had a welcome-home ceremony done for him."
Moving reluctantly to work, Zayed describes the "fantastic schedule" in Turkey for Mission Istanbul. "It's all about working with like-minded people. Yes, I did some audacious action including jumping down a high-rise. There was no choice. My character required me to get seriously audacious. And I did. We took a lot of precautions. But I told my director, Apoorva Lakhia, that we need to give the audience their money's worth. As a kid I remember how thrilled I used to be watching my father and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan do all those daredevil stunts. Today's audience has seen so much more of the international cinema. We have to give them international-level action. If you see Chinese cinema, it takes action to another level"
Zayed admits he was terrified doing the heart-in-the-mouth stunts. "Anything that happens for the first time, be it fatherhood or stunts, scares you. I asked our action guys to show me exactly what they wanted. I really practiced hard before taking the plunge. Apoorva's film believes in very high-octane stunts. Apu's a hyper guy. Very passionate and spirited."
But Zayed had to keep the action away from his parents. "I hid the truth of the stunts from my family as much as possible. Being the son and husband and father-to-be, I had to spare them the anxiety." Zayed admits he had verbal spats with his director on the sets. "By the end of the day we sometimes didn't talk to one another but canned some terrific shots."