In Thailand, they have pictures of me on their book covers: Imran Abbas talks fame

Actor described his sense of awe at finding fans in the unlikeliest of places

Entertainment Desk January 16, 2024

While many enter showbiz to seek fame among other glamourous offerings, many practitioners of the craft recount feeling wonderstruck at the first sweet moment of public recognition. Yet, for some, the awe at having achieved stardom never goes away despite carving a long association with the entertainment industry. Pakistani actor Imran Abbas is one of those.

Gracing the couch for a candid interview with actor-host Hina Altaf and her co-host Syed Ali, Imran recalled the exhilarating yet confusing ordeal of fans finding him worldwide. That the actor enjoys such wide praise is not surprising, given his long, impressive portfolio boasting Pakistani television hits and Bollywood feature films.

Responding to a query about a moment that inspired awe in him regarding his long journey and big accomplishments, Imran recalled his various instances of global fame. “I went to Europe a few days back. And I was travelling alone. I had no managers or anyone else with me,” Imran explained, delving into how a casual vacation trip became yet another moment for the actor to grasp his stardom.

“I had planned to start from Amsterdam, then to Germany, then Switzerland to Paris,” he shared how his trip sought to cover five European countries. “Wherever I’ve been, even at the top of the Eiffel Tower, there is a restaurant there, so I assumed no one here would recognise me then at Jungfrau, right at Switzerland’s top,” Imran described his amazement at discovering his wide fanbase.

Further articulating his wonder, Imran pointed out, “Over there, you’re going clad in your regular clothes. So when you find someone there [who recognises you], you’re like, I could use a break here.” However, the Ehraam-e-Junoon actor clarified that this feeling is just part of his reaction to such unexpected encounters. “It’s also a source of happiness when people recognise you at the unlikeliest of places and it’s not just Pakistanis then but also Indians, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, from Arab countries…” he elaborated on his transnational stardom.

The Ae Dil Hai Muskhil star also expressed his amusement at how Arab fans pronounce his name, with a rounded stress on the initial. Meanwhile, recalling another shocking exhibit of this affection, Imran revealed, “Believe me, I am left surprised that in Thailand, they have pictures of me on their book covers.”

For Imran, his anecdotes only suggest his personal experiences of the glam and splendour that follow an A-lister in most places. On an affectionate note, the celebrity disclosed how his niece travels across the world and further attests to the man’s widespread appeal. “My niece travels frequently, she tells me that currently I’m in a village in Italy and your pictures are in barber shops,” Imran divulged.

Underscoring the intensity of his fandom, the Khuda Aur Muhabbat actor cited an example from India. “In India, [my pictures] they were even plastered in a restroom once. Mine in the men’s restroom and Aishwarya Rai’s in the women’s restroom,” Imran remarked laughingly. He went on to comment on how such displays induce both joy and perplexity in him. “I was like what should I call this admiration.”

Last year, the actor made waves on the internet with he went into a tirade about the "toxic culture" of talk shows where hosts ask problematic questions for the sake of views and virality. He urged all talk show hosts to stop "cornering" their guests to demean other celebrities, and instead talk about meaningful stuff.

Imran took to his Instagram Story to share why he does not appear on talk shows. Listing down questions that are obnoxious but are a "popular game trend" on talk shows, he wrote, "'He/she doesn't know how to act, he/she is overrated or worse than this actor or actress, she looks old now and shouldn't play this character, she looks plastic and horrible after surgery…what the hell, man?"

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