Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

What’s Love Got To Do With It? Star Shazad Latif Reveals What Bonded Him with Lily James – & How It Made It Into the Movie

Noah and Allie from The Notebook, Jenna and Matty from 13 Going on 30 and Andrew and Margaret from The Proposal are just a few of the rom-com couples that were so iconic we’ll continue to watch them over and over again. And, following their romantic yet sexy footsteps are Zoe and Kaz, played by Lily James and Shazad Latif, in the upcoming movie What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Talking to SheKnows about the project, Latif shares what made his connection with James so palpable onscreen. “We had a long rehearsal period with [Director Shekhar Kapur], a good month where we were just talking about love to Shekhar who’s so spiritual – I think he was in the Himalayas when we first spoke to him – and he’s very deep and philosophical and just doing that every day really helped,” Latif remembers.

His and James’ connection, however, goes much further than just the rehearsal time. “But also me and Lily have been friends for like 15 years so we had a shorthand,” he says. “It was kind of perfect.”

During filming, in addition to talking about love, Latif and James bonded over their favorite activity together: table tennis. After the two practiced a scene while playing, the director knew he wanted to incorporate it into the movie. “What was really great is we got to put table tennis [in the movie] which we both love,” he says, adding that James “used to play with her brothers,” while he’s always been “obsessed” with the sport.

“Lily is just so game for everything, she’s just the best,” Latif adds. “So nice to go to work and not have any stress or worry that you have to try things, we could just do anything.”

In What’s Love Got to Do With It? Latif plays Kaz, a Pakistani doctor who appears to finally concede to his parent’s wishes to set him up with a wife. His arranged marriage is then explored deeper when Zoe, his childhood best friend and next-door neighbor, decides to make it into a documentary.

“I suppose what we’re doing is giving an updated version [of an arranged marriage],” he says. “That’s why we keep calling it assisted marriage in the movie. It’s not arranged, it’s not forced, it’s basically you’re family just giving you a helping hand which even Emma Thompson‘s character does for Lily. It’s what the apps do for everyone else. It’s more similar than we think.”

As for whether he’s thought about being a part of an arrangement himself, Latif is still rejecting his family’s offers so far. “My uncle is continually trying every day, I reckon he calls me once a week,” he confesses.

In the movie, James and Latif also star alongside icon Emma Thompson, who plays Zoe’s mother. “I’m a big movie geek as well so I was geeking out a lot,” Latif says of working with Thompson, adding that he soon was “annoying her with questions about The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father.” “I was just looking for any tidbits,” Latif says. “She’s just a mentor, she’s just great to watch and you can learn so much just from being around actors like that. It’s just such a great honor to be able to say that I’ve done a film with her.”

With a cast this star-studded and chemistry this incredible, we can’t wait to see What’s Love Got to Do With It? in theaters!

Before you go, click here to see our favorite rom-coms where the main couple isn’t white.
'Crazy Rich Asians' 10 Rom-Coms Where the Main Couple Isn’t White

Leave a Comment


View More Videos Sign Up
More Entertainment