Ahsan Khan has done it all. Television, film, gameshows, comedy that leaves you in splits and heart wrenching drama that had the entire nation questioning its values. With his boyish good looks and piercing eyes Khan has a knack of fitting any role he is caste in.
Perhaps that is why he chooses to push himself with challenging roles.
How do you pick your films / characters? To what extent is commercial success a criteria?
AK: I’ve never actually thought of commercial success what I do when read scripts – be it theatre, films, television – I do only what calls to me otherwise I won’t do a project no matter how tempting. As far as scripts go, if I get hooked and feel it is an interesting that means I should do it. Of course, I have to look at who is directing and executing. My priority is working with good people. I want to surround myself with good people with positive energy whether they are new, old, big or small.
Good scripts and good humans are my priority.
Your next two upcoming films Chupan Chupai and Rahbra are lighthearted while drama Aangan is intense – was this a deliberate choice? Do you feel one medium works better for dramatic story telling?
AK: When I started Chupan Chupai, I was just finishing Udaari which was a very heavy and difficult character to play in terms of digesting. That story impacted me as a person and for a long while I felt could not play serious characters – I needed to take a break. When I take on a role I really get into it and I feel it deeply so I had to break the effect of Udaari with a comedy role – thus Chupan Chupai and Rehbra which is a nice rom-com with Ayesha Omar that I enjoyed doing. After Udaari I wanted to do something completely different as an actor. I was being offered typical roles on television which I ignored as I did not want to repeat myself as an actor. If you notice my look in Chupan Chupai my look, my style, my acting is totally different from Udaari and Rehbra is completely separate from that.
I’m working on a period drama Aangan which is a favorite genre of mine with Ehteshamuddin who is my favorite director.
As an actor it is exciting to push boundaries. I love to experiment. I want to do want what no one else is doing.
Your iconic portrayal of a child molester in Udari has changed the way audiences view this issue. What was the response for you? Did anyone tell you how the performance impacted them? How did you bounce back from such a dark role?
AK: Udaari not only changed audiences perspectives but my own. I feel proud that it was a game changer in the industry. Many television, film and advertising professionals have started talking about socials and we need all need to do that. This conversation needs to happen – child abuse is a huge sin. There are so many survivors who shared their stories with me and had never confided in anyone before. So, I am glad I did that character. The issue is being discussed. I am writing a book on my experience of portraying this character – which was very stressful. The more cases I heard the more I came to grasp the horrific impact of abuse.
Tell us about your character in Chupan Chupai?
AK: My character in Chupan Chupai is called Babu and he is a moron! He is a big dumbo who tries to gain attention, and prove something but he can’t.
I did not do this film just for myself – I found Mohsin Ali’s script fun and cute. Most of the sitcoms on television are not humorous. I don’t find them up to the mark. So, when I was offered a film I was eager to try it. My priority was to support young film makers with a worth while story to tell.
My favorite part of the film was shooting songs. Ever since I was a boy and dreamed about being an actor, I think I pictured myself singing to a beautiful actress.
IN A NUTSHELL
The song that is stuck in my head…Sadqa tere husan ka Sadqa from Chuppan Chuppai
The food I could live on…Fish – I love fish!
My Tindr profile would say…”Always believe something wonderful is about to happen”
My greatest vice is…..I am a perfectionist.
The first thing I do on the weekend is…play with my kids!