UK based mini-series, Gangs of London that features veteran Pakistani Asif Raza Mir, just premiered on Sky TV last night. Mir plays a Pakistani crimelord, with his character sharing his real first name.
In a recent interview with Canadian publication CTV, the actor talked about his experience working in the production. “The nice thing about this project that I personally liked is that it’s a typical crime gangster series but every individual (in it) has his own backstory and at the same time it has the human side of it, the family, the emotions," said Mir.
The Khalish actor compared it to Francis Ford Coppola's gangster trilogy The Godfather. "In many ways, if you remember The Godfather series, where the characters had their own emotional story-lines. When I read the script, it sort of looked very similar to that,” he said.
He also lauded the producers for promoting diversity through multi-cultural casting. “Just picking up on my character - it’s a Pakistani character and it’s played by a Pakistani,” he said. “Otherwise in the past, it used to be a Pakistani played by an Indian, or played by somebody from the U.S. who was from an Arabic background - but it never comes out as authentic as a Pakistani doing it.”
Speaking about the differences between the opposite approaches to acting in Pakistan and the UK, Mir described how the latter tends to incorporate exaggeration at times.
“The biggest difference between Pakistani style and that (European) part of the world, talking about the performance style and expectation, is our part of the world over there is slightly more melodramatic if I may say," Mir said. "More expression is loud and it’s expected you need to have that kind of expression. But in the west, it is much more subtle."
However, he does believe that there are certain merits to local approach to acting. “Having said that, there are certain productions over here (in North America, and Europe) where you need to have that big expression, that loud expression. It was handy in that case,” he said.
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