Actor Ahsan Khan, a rising star in the Pakistani drama and film industry, is not afraid of a challenge. After winning the PTV award for Best Male Actor, he is now on this year’s Lux Style Awards nomination list. “I always believe that my career should not be one of those that came and went. I want to leave a mark in Pakistan and be perfect at what I do,” Khan tells The Express Tribune.
“It’s pretty typical of young boys to always be casted in happy-go-lucky roles,” says Khan, talking about his inclination towards diversity. He added that while he has played the “nice guy” in drama serials like “Paani Jaisa Pyaar”, he has made sure to take on atypical roles, such as the one he played in “Dastaan” and “Paarsa”, where he played a young boy who is madly in love.
“If I ever had the chance to do something crazy and experimental, it would be amazing.
When you do different characters, it’s a whole different experience which shows your skills as an actor.”
After all the doom and gloom that revolves around the local film industry, Khan is optimistic about Lollywood. He believes that the industry is filled with talent and has the potential to improve tenfold. While one may feel that Khan’s loyalties lie with Lollywood since that is where he made his debut, he says he has been a fan of Pakistani cinema since he was a little boy.
It is unfortunate that after films like Nikaah and Ghar Kab Aao Gay were platinum jubilee hits, Khan leapt to television plays since he felt his success would be limited with Pakistani cinema. “Television dramas have really provided a boost. We are coming out with very good plays and it’s connecting with an international audience,” he said, adding that “our acting, direction and scripts are improving.”
“In the middle, I had completely stopped films, but there is always that inkling that I wanted to go back, do some Lollywood because it feels nice even if it’s a low-budget production,” says Khan who recently signed up as a lead actor in Shahzad Rafique’s new movie Ishq Khuda which includes bonafide stars such as Shaan, Meera and Dubai-based popstar Wiam Dahmani.
Khan remains a vocal supporter of Pakistani cinema and hopes to change perceptions about Pakistani movies. “I don’t blame any actor who is taking on Punjabi films, because for an actor, it’s about surviving on some level,” says Khan.
“We have to realise a Punjabi film is a regional film, so it’s not supposed to compete with the international market, it caters to a different viewership.”
The future holds important projects for Khan, with offers to star in several Indian dramas and also international productions. He plans to be part of a film made by a New York based production house — a political thriller about the Taliban which will be shot mainly in the border areas of Pakistan. He is also in line to star in Sultanat which is being directed by Syed Faisal Bukhari.
At the end, Khan emphasises on the importance of diverse roles for actors. “New actors should take their trade seriously because there is no shortcut. In the long-run, one has to penetrate the hearts and minds of the viewers like the greatest actors of the industry once did,” said Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.
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