Actor and screenwriter Amar Khan alongside musician and once co-actor, Haroon Shahid, made an appearance on the latest episode of Time Out with Ahsan Khan to talk about the entertainment industry, debut projects, and the need for education and discipline in the media “circus”.
The host, who shares a special bond with the duo, provided the three of them worked together in 2021 drama serial Qayamat, recalled how people initially thought Haroon was Ahsan’s twin because of his fair skin complexion and coloured eyes. The latter shared that they actually started getting projects for twin brothers. But Ahsan had to clarify that his real twin brother is actually far away from the world of showbiz and to avoid any staple twin brother roles, he and Haroon had to distance themselves from projects linking them together.
But when asked why Haroon was called the Ganderi boy back in the day, the 32-year-old musician revealed that it all started when he sang the song Ganderi Da Pyar in a college corridor on an acoustic guitar. Amar also recalled his fame from his college days, since the two share the same alma mater.
Moving onto his acting days, Shahid hit a “jackpot” with his first film with Mahira Khan under Shoaib Mansoor’s banner. And although he’s been producing music for years on end, Verna essentially rose him to fame. Shedding light on why the family drama failed at the box office despite being a huge project, he asked rather defensively, “Don’t you have any work which didn’t give the results you desired despite being big?” He added, “It was my first project and I feel that it didn’t do well in terms of number. I feel that probably people thought that I didn’t know acting and I would take their opinion with respect. Why and how should I blame anyone else?”
While maintaining that the film’s failure “did not affect him,” given the projects he is getting now, Haroon continued, “Honestly, if you look at it the other way round, and think that Verna didn’t do well because of Shoaib Mansoor, would it be believable? I don’t think so. But I do feel that the supporting cast of the film could have been stronger.”
The conversation then tilted towards Amar’s genetic gifts, with her mother being popular actor Fariha Jabeen and the influence of her family, educational background in filmmaking essentially, helped her make a name for herself. “Fortunately, I had always had this instinct to be an actor. Ever since I was born, I can remember myself standing in front of the mirror and posing. Although my family didn’t have a really open or encouraging environment, my grandmother was very unorthodox and conservative that way. My mom never even thought I’d be an actor given how nerdy I was – I was an A grade student throughout and I was actually scared of telling my mom that I wanted to pursue acting,” shared the Dum Mastam star.
When Amar said her fear stemmed from the insecurity that she didn’t look like the typical girly heroine, the host asked if she believes there’s a certain categorical look for hero and heroines and even people who can come into acting. Giving a firm nod, Amar said, “Of course. You [Ahsan] look like a hero. Not everyone is like that and hence, they’re not heroes.”
Talking about his experience with working male actors so far, Haroon shared an interesting realization, “What I’ve observed until now is that the bigger the name, the bigger the star, and the more down-to-earth they are. However, the newer people have a sort of insecurity and an issue perhaps to come to terms with their new life. They don’t know how to carry themselves and it has to do with their education. I’ve never seen senior stars be rude to the spot boy or their lower staff but I’ve seen the younger ones do it, a lot of times, and a lot of them. It’s unfortunate.”
When Haroon shared that it was usually the undereducated lot that behaved this way, Amar asserted that it’s not just about education. “Nowadays, a lot of people have information but only some possess knowledge.” Comparing the media “circus” to a wrestling match, she said, “It’s like a wrestling match. There’s team A and B. Team A has bigger stars but lesser talent and team B has smaller stars but is abundant of talent. Both of them keep judging each other. Team A wonders how the talented are getting projects one after another, while team B judges how the former has more success. And above the ring is God watching everyone along with the audience with just one question: When I am the one providing rizq, why are they all trying to play god?”
The statement vowed the other two actors in the room followed by a silence, which lifted with a conversation on how certain stories told on television are sometimes met with surprise revelations from netizens sharing that it actually is their life tale. Amar and Ahsan once made a short film for world disability day which the former wrote and the latter produced while they both acted in it. They played the role of blind people and one day a man, a radio jockey from Mir Pur Khas called them up to share that the film was actually his life being played on TV. “It made him so happy and for us, it was rewarding too,” said Amar.