Joined: 09 June 2010
Interview By Saira Agha
Pakistani actor and coming-of-age star, Ahsan Khan, talks to Daily Times about his upcoming film 'Ishq Khuda', his break from Lollywood, and the much-awaited drama serial 'Bilqees Kaur'.
Q. Tell us a little about the role that you're playing in 'Ishq Khuda', and how much can you relate to it?
A. I play Ahsan, the love-bound boy-next-door that almost every guy would be able to relate to. He finds himself stuck in a love triangle, which is very believable and convincing, without any sign of artificiality. Whether I relate to the character or not, I think yes. I can in more ways than one. I play this very regular guy who finds himself in an inevitable situation, and I guess I've been there, done that.
Q. Why do you think Shehzad approached you for the role?
A. You see, Shehzad was the one who introduced me to Lollywood, with my first film 'Nikaah'. The two of us got along immediately, and he is the sort of person I share my mind with. The big hit 'Nikaah' was, and the educated, accomplished director Shehzad is, I said 'yes', without a second thought.
Q. Did you initially have any reservations or apprehensions about the role?
A. Shehzad is of the few filmmakers that we have who make nice, enjoyable, family movies. Many people might not know it but Shehzad's 'Salakhen' was the first Pakistani film to be released in India. Whatever apprehensions I did have, immediately went away as the role and the script was narrated to me. I trust Shehzad with the films he makes and all his directorial ventures.
Q. How is this role different from other roles that you've played?
A. It's not really, actually. I always make sure that I play roles I and the audience can relate to, ones which have the power to convince and have the believable factor to them.
Q. Would we see you dancing and shaking a leg in the film?
A. (Laughs) Totally! I love to dance, actually. It's part and parcel of being a commercial film actor I guess. Not in-your-face dancing, but the kind that would get the audience grooving as well. There are not many fast beat tracks in the film, as most of them have a lot of emotion involved. The film has a musical aspect to it, with the kind of touchy-feely sense to it, and not just mindless crooning on which actors and made to dance to.
Q. Who has choreographed the songs for 'Ishq Khuda'?
A. You might be surprised but Shehzad himself is an amazing dancer. He's done most of the choreography himself, alongside Pappu Samrat and Jabbar. So, there's a lot of versatility and flexibility to the dance steps.
Q. We'll be seeing you on the silver screen after a long time. Why's that?
A. I wasn't able to find a good role to fit in. Bad timing, you can say. At that time, I could relate more to the drama roles that I was being offered so took a wild plunge in that. It wasn't as if I had made a niche for myself in dramas. I longed for a good film role, and with 'Ishq Khuda', I felt that connection I was longing for.
Q. What are you most comfortable in? Silver screen or drama?
A. I'll be honest here. I think drama is my real edge. I've learned so much from it, still am. It has really brought out the actor in me. But then again, film is forever. It's a one-time running show and leaves an impact, which is inerasable. I love doing films.
Q. Have you ever tried your hands in theatre?
A. Unfortunately, I've not, as drama and my current projects take most of my time. But I'd definitely love to. Working in theatre is one experience I'd love to gain.
Q. Having Meera as your co-star in 'Ishq Khuda', who has major film experience, both in Pakistan and in India, and boasts of a large fan following, did you at any point feel intimidated that she might outshine you or you might get unnoticed?
A. Never for once did I feel that way. I was rather more excited and looked forward to working with her. The experienced actress that she is, the moment I came to know that she'll be my co-star, I realised how much I could learn from her. Acting should be an extractive job. You should extract everything from the cast and the crew and just should never stop learning. Also, I'm a very focused actor and just give everything my best shot, so that leaves no room for insecurity.
Q. What are the different genres of 'Ishq Khuda' and what is that one genre you're very comfortable in?
A. The film is about unconditional love, the sort of love that God has for us and vice versa. Unconditional so to say, along with a beautifully-scripted love story. I really enjoy performing emotional scenes, where one has to do a lot to get inside the skin of the actual character that you're playing. You see, when you just have to laugh or spell out dialogues from a calm setting, you're not doing much. A scene, which asks for an enactment of emotions, is where I like to challenge myself.
Q. That's interesting to know. So, what is next for you, after 'Ishq Khuda'?
A. Well, I'm doing another Lollywood film, which is Faisal Bukhari's 'Sultanat'. Then there a few good plays in my kitty as well, one of them namely 'Bilqees Kaur' with an amazing cast, which includes Bushra Ansari. I'm launching my own fashion store, 'Ahsan Khan', mid-April, Insha Allah. My other play which I'm eagerly looking forward to is 'Heera Ranjha' directed by Yousaf Salahuddin. 'Meri Ladee', 'Kiski Ayegi Baraat', 'Mere Qatil Mere Dildar', and I've two more projects with Momina Duraid in the pipeline.
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