Breaking into the Pakistani TV industry in the late 1990s, actor Farhan Ally Agha has over the years done enough to string together a diverse portfolio.
From playing lead to essaying supporting roles and occasionally portraying the antagonist, Agha confidently dabbled into all screen territories. However, with the recent boom of the media industry paving way for the launch of numerous local television channels, he gradually disappeared into the background with the younger breed of actors going on to take his place.
It wasn’t until a few years later that the actor reemerged on the forefront, this time on a different medium — the silver screen — with Sabeeha Sumar’s Good Morning Karachi. Following the film’s release, Agha went on to play a bit-part role in Jawani Phir Nahi Ani that was released in 2015. The former model will now be making his first full-fledged appearance in the upcoming action film, Maalik.
‘Maalik’ to hit theatres on April 8
“With Maalik you can say that it will be the first time that I’ll be playing a major role in any movie,” he told The Express Tribune.
Although Agha has long waited for the right opportunity, time doesn’t seem to have caught up with him — at least physically. Even during his early days on TV the actor stood out for his lean, chiseled physique; an aspect which he feels gives him an advantage over other actors. “You may have noticed how actors in TV serials used to have more chocolate boy looks and they didn’t give much importance to physical fitness,” shared Agha. “But now, with films becoming popular you will see how all actors — both old and new — are focusing on their physique.”
Citing examples from across the border, Agha shared how it was actors with prominent cheekbones and muscular physiques that are more popular. Not one to discount the importance of acting, he commented that, “Even if Hrithik Roshan is playing a villager in a movie, you will see the character has strong biceps.”
An advocate for physical fitness, the actor had to gather all his strength for one of his most demanding on-set experiences in the form of Maalik. Narrating an incident that took place on the sets, he shared how for one of the scenes the actors had to carry gear — weighing nearly 40lbs — latched onto their bodies.
According to Agha, the upside of this grueling routine was that he learnt to appreciate the efforts of soldiers even more. “Having shadowed them throughout the film-making process not only helped me prepare better for my character but also learn more about the challenges these people encounter,” he remarked.
Coincidentally, Maalik is not just a first for Agha as a lead actor in a film, but is also marking his co-actor Ashir Azeem’s directorial debut. Praising Azeem’s unique approach to the craft, Agha said, “Unlike other directors, he lets the actors improvise. He doesn’t restrict them by telling them to perform according to the lighting or script. He knows how important it is to make the scenes dynamic especially in an action film.”
As Maalik inches closer to its release date, Agha has wasted no time in moving to his next feature film projects. Two of the major movies in the pipeline include the Moammar Rana-directed Sikandar and Ahmed Azhar’s Whistle. Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2016.
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