GLOSS Issue 2 ( July / August 2017 ) - Page 20

Yasir Hussain’s comment regarding your character role at the recent Hum Awards created quite an uproar, what are your thoughts on that? I can safely say that all of us, including the crowd, were quite shocked. That comment was insensitive, offensive and irresponsible and while I think his apology should have been more sincere, it’s time for people to forgive, forget, move on and focus on the actual problem at hand – child sex abuse. It is high time we stop attacking individuals such as Hussain and take a meaningful step at eliminating the problem, which is more important. How was it playing the role of a villain for a change for someone who has always played the hero? It was certainly more challenging and involved a lot of psychological study into the mind of a pervert. It was a risky move, but I am glad the effort put into portraying a child molester in order to raise awareness, paid off. How have you dealt with people associating you with the negative character you portrayed? It all comes back to the severity of the issue and the fact that many people don’t realise the impact of it. After playing the role of Imtiaz, people have made some unkind jokes about it. In this day and age, even my kids have been asked at school about the character their father had played. Nevertheless, it all comes down to the fact that it impacted a large audience and the effort has all been worthwhile because playing a character like Imtiaz’s is every actor’s dream. I am glad that I got a chance to be one of the people who brought the issue of child sexual abuse to the forefront. Has playing such a powerful role in Udaari affected the way you choose roles now? Of course, it has. People expect a lot more from me now. My choices have been narrowed. I am looking to play unconventional, interesting and multi-layered characters with a lot of nuance and complexity. What other issues do you think can be highlighted through this medium - drama and film? How effective can they be? The issues of poverty, racism, sexism, minority rights, fairness, corruption, justice, and access to education can and should be highlighted in television and film. Not doing so would be selling the mediums short and majorly irresponsible. TIDBITS Describe yourself in 3 words Kind, humble and genuine One role you could have done better Imtiaz One profession you would pick other than actor, model and producer Charitable Work Biggest regret in life Not having worked in films and plays with socially relevant themes