Fawad Afzal Khan, one of the most sought after Pakistani singer-actor, has drawn criticism for his decision to enter Bollywood, but he is unperturbed and says art is something that travels across borders.
He is making his debut in Bollywood with Khoobsurat — a remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1980 hit of the same name, opposite Sonam Kapoor. But even before the film’s release, Fawad has earned a huge fan following, thanks to his show Zindagi Gulzar Hai, which was aired on Zindagi channel.
When asked about his reaction on the criticism, he said: “The people you are talking about are very few. There will be people who will criticise. They are entitled to their opinion. Even if someone from India goes to work there, someone or the other will make noise.”
“Art is something that travels across all borders. Art knows no culture and creed. As an actor, I would like to explore myself. I do feel bad, but I choose to ignore criticism. I think to pay attention to it is unnecessary,” he said.
Charming as ever, he wowed everyone when he sang the title song of his show Zindagi Gulzar Hai at the event.
Directed by Shashanka Ghosh, Khoobsurat has been produced by Sonam’s dad Anil Kapoor and sister Rhea under the banner of Anil Kapoor’s Film Company Pvt. Ltd. For Fawad, it’s an honour to collaborate with the Kapoors for his Bollywood debut.
“I think it’s a very big honour for me to work with the family. When I met these people, I found them very interesting. Most of all, the way I was treated and welcomed was very kind and warm,” he said. “So all in all, this has been a very interesting episode in my life. I had a lot of fun. There was a lot of love and warmth.”
Fawad praised Sonam for being “a very accommodating, very warm, and very welcoming person”.
“I took time for settling in the new environment, but the entire team, the production … everyone made sure to make me feel comfortable,” he said.
At the trailer launch, all eyes were anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse of Fawad, the man who has made Indian girls swoon after with Zindagi Gulzar Hai, reported businessofcinema.com. The show gained immense popularity and Fawad aka Zarun Junaid has become a heartthrob. During the press conference, the females seated threw almost all their questions at him and a very humble and visibly blushing Fawad just kept thanking people for all the love. While all this was on, Sonam kept interjecting by giving statements, “Didn’t I tell you girls here just love you!” or “He is so hot…and his Hindi is amazing.”
Fawad who will be essaying the role originally played by Rakesh Roshan thinks that his role in this film is very different from the original character. “I saw the original film as part of my homework. It is a timeless classic but our film is different. Rakesh Roshan played the role of a doctor and I play a Rajput prince, so it’s different in a way,” said Fawad.
Sonam, who has stepped into Rekha’s shoes for the Khoobsurat remake, says she is not even a patch on the senior actor who is still remembered for effortlessly playing the chirpy and carefree girl in the original film. “I don’t think I can do justice to anything Rekha has done,” said Sonam.
Set in Rajasthan, Khoobsurat is the story of Dr Mili Chakravarty (Sonam) — a middle class physiotherapist from Delhi. Mili is sent to Rajasthan to treat the paraplegic Shekhar Rathore, Raja of Sambalgarh. Over the course of her stay in the palace, Mili charms the Rathore family, especially young Yuvraj Singh Rathore (Fawad) — with her free spirit and funny antics.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.