Small Talk with Adnan Siddiqui
Actors bring to mind a degenerate breed, who can do anything that shock you. Because everything about their lifestyle is meant to be shocking, so you kind of get blas and immunized about it all. But meeting Adnan Siddiqui is like a collapse of all these illusions and preconceived notions about actors as hangin-loose dudes all about wine and women. I was completely thrown off-guard when Adnan took off on a completely different tangent from what actors were supposed to (in my limited knowledge) and revealed his true side to me.
Who is Adnan Siddiqui?
Adnan Siddiqui is somebody who owes his life to a lot of people-people who have taken him from zero to hero! It could be Ghazanfar Ali, Shahzad Nawaz or Fifi Haroon. These were all the people who made me what I am today. I am not just a name but somebody's creation and I take great pride in honoring them for if it hadn't been for them, there would have been no me too.
How many years have you been in this field?
Long time, I should say! I came in '89 so it has been sixteen years that since I am and I suppose I have earned a lot too! A lot of fame and fortune and I feel that God has really been kind to me. I have been bestowed with a lot. I have been successful in whatever I have done, be it be acting, modeling or styling.
Doesn't this make you the jack-of-all-trades as well as the master of all?
Oh.. My God! Now you are certainly using big words for me. I am not a master of all. I am just Adnan, a model turned actor and finally a hair stylist!
A hair stylist with a difference?
A hair stylist who is determined to make a difference in the society, provide the world with new perspective, and who is motivated to strike the right balance between his hundred worlds.
You said all big banners.. Do you work with specific banners only?
No! Not always but of course I do try to work under good banners!!!
Are you banner conscious?
Well, certainly I am and I should be too because if you don't have standards you don't have class and when you don't have class you are certainly out of the run of success!
How do you evaluate today's fashion scene?
I started off with fashion. It was certainly amazing back then, and though I don't do many ramp or advertisements now I believe fashion shows have really progressed. It's quite observably going places.
But why not ads? That is where the good money is?
Well, purely because I don't get the time to do them. It requires a lot of time and dedication. Now my full dedication is to my salon. So I am concentrating more in that direction. I was offered this particular advertisement of Chalia of course the money was good, but here my standard comes, so I turned down the offer.
So when did this salon thing start and how?
It started way back, say around 8 to 10 years back. It was because I did modeling simply out of fun. Acting turned out the same way. Not most people know that I did not do any serial after Uroosa for four years. It was because I was indecisive as to what to do. And I feel that if you are shaky about your decisions, you should not pursue them because then you won't put your heart and soul into them! Can you believe I started with a two-seater only!!!
But why were you indecisive?
I was indecisive because I had done my masters in Marketing and I was very perplexed as to what to choose as my profession. After long pondering I decided to open a styling outlet because there were so many people who were jumping into boutiques. I just can't follow the crowd. I may be one of them but I am definitely leading them. I have my own standard! And I know I have to maintain it as well it isn't just acha hai chal raha hai… it just has to be excellent.
So, you are the kind of person who would like to stick to one place rather than be a rolling stone?
Cent percent, But this does not mean I am completely out of the fashion scene or of dramas. I am just doing quality work.
And what is your definition of quality?
Simple; a good script, an expert director and yes I am a bit biased about my cast. I look forward to a good polished cast! They are the key to your success. When two experienced and established people join hands you are just expecting a good total out of it.
In so many words you are saying that you are not in favor of promoting new talent?
No, you get me wrong here. How can I not be in favor of newcomers? Of course! I was a newcomer myself once. But since I work very little now I want to give good serials. That is the main reason I try to work with a well established team.
The trend lately is that more actors are crossing the border for greener pastures. Do you think it is a good sign?
Well, this may be usual case but no sir, not me right now! I might give it a try – I frankly don't really deny it altogether, but at the moment I have a lot on my head.
Are you getting any offers?
Of course yes! I am getting a lot of offers from Bollywood, but not now!
You were offered a Pakistani film once but you turned it down. Why?
It wasn't my cup of tea. I did try once right after Uroosa. I got this movie offer from Ghazanfar Ali. He was making a film which actually got made but never saw the darkness of theaters. It had a totally new cast and it was destined to be a total hit, but the day it was to start, I ran away. I knew I wasn't made for it.
You don't take radical decisions?
Well it depends on the situation mostly. Obviously I can't run into conclusions without calculating the end result.
What does showbiz mean to you?
I am here in showbiz for nothing but fame and money! Everybody wants a good living and if I work for it, what's the big deal? And please, I've got a daughter, I have to get her married (He laughs out loud at the thought of his 24 days old daughter).
How did marriage happen?
Marriage happened as it happens for a normal Pakistani male. It was purely arranged! I know nobody believes me but that's a fact I hadn't even met Palwasha, but it is now one of the best things that ever happened to me.
How has fatherhood changed you?
Has it? Yes it has. It unquestionably has! I have always been a responsible person but now I am an even more responsible man.
Has it been the turning point in your life?
Every single point in my life has been a turning point. Every single minute God is changing something in your life; He is doing something new to you. However, I do admit that my marriage has been a big turn in my life and fatherhood, bigger.
Where do you see yourself in 10-20 years?
A daddy who would be keeping a keen eye on his daughter. Jokes apart, I don't know really – may be in another field.
Another field! Like direction or production?
Direction is not my thing but yes it can be production. That is something you can find me tangled in. I feel I can do it, but don't expect it now – may be later.
Why not direction?
I don't find myself eligible for something that I have not studied. I don't even know its basics. We all know fabulous actors who have turned into really crazy directors, none of them couldn't make it big.