Faisal Qureshi: The man with a hundred faces

Published: December 24, 2011
Faisal Qureshi says he believes in taking one project at a time. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON/EXPRESS

Faisal Qureshi says he believes in taking one project at a time. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON/EXPRESS


He is a man of myriad emotions and expressions, yet no one can tell who the real Faisal Qureshi is. The actor delves so deep into his on screen avatar that he makes the audience forget he is someone else in real life. Born to the celebrity couple, Abid and Afashan Qureshi, the actor grew up watching iconic dramas like Zeba Bakhtiar starrer “Anarkali”, and it was his inspiration from these dramas that triggered his passion for showbiz.

“I have opened my eyes in the showbiz industry, I don’t know which profession I would have opted for had I not been an actor.” The actor started his career at the age of 17 in 1992. Today, he has innumerable plays from private production houses to his credit.

Currently he is busy working on two projects for Express Entertainment; “Mera Yaqeen” and “Tashnagi”. When asked how he manages to do projects for so many channels, he states, “The dramas I work in get recorded one at a time. However, when they are aired one after the other it just seems like I multitask by taking on five to six projects simultaneously.”

Despite watching him in a number of plays, the audience is still hooked onto his boyish charm that just doesn’t seem to age. “I look younger because I avoid sugar intake. Look at my friends, they all look older to me,” the actor says jokingly.

His real life sense of humour is seen in his on screen roles, however, the actor believes that a good reel performance has more to do with the chemistry between the director and the actor than the actor’s skill. He cites his own example that he has done as many as 35 dramas with director Babar Javed and all of them have been a success. “There is always a comfort zone between the two of us, and I know what he wants out of me. He believes I can play characters which I, myself, don’t think I can.”

Qureshi believes that it is an actor’s job to make an on screen character relatable to the audience. “An actor needs to disguise himself completely in the character that he is portraying. Whenever my role had a moustache, I grew one. This is something I believe; you need to live the character day and night.”

The actor says that in the last five to six years the quality and quantity of dramas has improved to a great extent.  However, he believes that good directors need to break free from the stereotypes and cliches. “Pakistani dramas are now being viewed at a global level, thus, we should start making dramas keeping global standards in mind.”

The actor believes that if Indian films get screened in Pakistan they will only help open new doors for local projects. “It’s high time now Pakistan owned its actors and supported our industry. Back in the 80s, Indian writer Gulzar said, ‘Give us your Arifa Siddiqui and your writers and then see where India will stand.’ So we have got talent here, we just need to work hard and polish the actors and shows.”

While talking about the loopholes in Pakistani mindset pertaining to cinema, Qureshi states, “We need to do three things to help Lollywood. Firstly, we need to promote our brand, secondly we should let multinationals market our products and thirdly, and more importantly, we need to have a realistic cinema approach. The 1992 outdated technology won’t do in 2012.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2011.

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