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Sohail Javed: On movies, actors and his directorial debut film!

Actor and director Sohail Javed, known for his notable work with the likes of Junoon, Sajjad Ali and the recent music video of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2′sTillay Wali Jooti,’ is now set to direct his first feature film starring Faisal Qureshi.

Talented, original and outspoken, Javed has earned a well deserved reputation for himself and his first film will surely be one to watch out for. We caught up with the director for a brief chat on Pakistani movies, actors, his vision and his debut film.

Tell us about your experience of directing the song for JPNA 2

I was supposed to be directing a song for JPNA 1 but I was shooting a major campaign at that time. To shoot the title song we needed to get all the actors together but our timelines weren’t matching, and although I really wanted to do it it didn’t work out. But when I heard this new song I was glad and told Humayun I would shoot it. It was a lot of fun. I was exceptionally thrilled to work with Mawra, Ahmed and Fahad. They were very well behaved, on spot with every shot. With Humayun Saeed, you know he is going to be well behaved. Omar, Sarwat, Uzma and Kubra were all very good too but these three were exceptional, extremely alert which was very entertaining for me.

What are your views on today’s superstars, especially Mahira Khan?

Look she’s a very big star and she’s very beautiful also, but I completely disagree with her choice of films. My complaint with capable people like Mahira, Fawad and Sheheryar is that when you offer them something they will ask you ten thousand questions. From how much am I getting paid to what am I doing in this film, what am I wearing etc and yet most of their movies have bombed…which means they’ve made bad choices multiple times.

Secondly all the stars, (and this is why i’m working with Faisal Qureshi on my film) need to understand that you cannot walk on set as a “star”, you walk on set as a character…All our stars need to go on set as characters otherwise this other new crop of actors will take the industry by storm.

Who do you think is a promising new comer amongst the female actresses?

Can’t really call her a new comer but I am blown over by Sohai in Motorcycle Girl. She’s becoming a thinking actress so she’s doing great.

Sajal was very good in Mom. I think she’s very convincing and I hope she does similar work here. Unfortunately I think we’ve been a little unlucky with female actresses. No one interesting is coming out, they’re too worried about their looks. They need to stop that, they need to surrender to this skill, this art, this craft. If they don’t surrender then nothing will happen. They will just be a pretty face on Instagram.

Tell us about your upcoming film

I can’t share the name of the film yet but Faisal Qureshi is one of the leads. I have 2 male and 2 female leads. Faisal is also the co-producer of the film. We will hopefully roll late December, early January because it is aimed for a winter look and feel so we want to shoot it in the winter. It’s a short story, it’s a true story, it’s intense, it will make you cry. That is my promise and that is my desire- that people should cry.

Where do you see our film industry going in the next 5 years?

If we don’t tell stories, in the next 5 years we’ll be back to 1985 with sh****y films and mujras. We think we are Bollywood and we are talking about numbers, which are minuscule, and we are jumping with joy on 30 crores and 40 crores. But we are not concerned or scared or worried or sad about the fact that we are not telling stories, we are doing variety shows. So if we keep doing this then we’ll go back to 1985…If we tell stories we will soar through the roof and take the whole region by surprise!

We have good stories, good scripts, we just need to be honest with telling them and not worry about how much it will “earn.”

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