In Conversation with Imran Abbas

Pakistani actor Imran Abbas is good-looking and charming. And he is also one of the highest paid television actors in Pakistan. We will soon be able to get a chance to see his looks and work courtesy the channel Zee Zindagi which will be showcasing the best of Pakistani telefilms in India from June 23. His Mere Naseeb happens to be one of them and he spoke to us while promoting the show and the channel.

Imran says that he is honoured to have been a part of a project like Zee Zindagi. “You have seen a glimpse of my work and this project (channel) should have come earlier. We (India and Pakistan) were always close but we should be more so. You always see about blasts, terrorists and so on, but you will come to know about true Pakistan whenyou see our telefilms and how we live, our culture and so on. The values might be different, but the emotions are the same.”

Imran started his career around 10 years back and has up to 175 programmes to his name. When asked about Mere Naseeb, he reveals, “The serial is about two girls who come from a protective family and has no male members. They are two different people but born on the same day. They are poles apart. The show is about their experiences of life and men and their reaction to it. It is quite an amusing tale and it will grow on you. My character Moiz has various shades. He starts off as a good person, then becomes a negative character and later goes back to being good.”

It is quite good to hear that Imran is a qualified architect from the prestigious National School of Arts. “I am also a classical singer and painter. My family has taught me a lot culturally. It is full of poets and big names would visit our house for mushairas. That is why my Urdu is good. Modelling offers came in while I was in college, but I never thought of acting. I did a few commercials. Then television offers came in. Then came the lead role of Umrao Jaan. It was the biggest production and through it, people came to know about me. Bollywood directors also followed my work. Rajkumar Santoshi came to meet me in Dubai for just a day. I am a big fan of his. But I could not work with him as I was under a contract.”

Imran is grateful that his family was very supportive and never stopped him. “I am from a normal family who do not know a thing about this field. They are not happy with the fact that I am not a practicing architect. They feel I have wasted five years in studying!”

He prefers not calling himself a method actor. “I prefer relatable acting and that is why I like Aamir Khan’s or Nasseruddin Shah’s style of acting. You cannot copy or mimic them. There is no formula in doing a particular role. You have to fit into the role. I search for such roles”

Pakistani serials have always been appreciated for their good stories and natural acting. But we have not been able to see the latest work as much as we want to. According to Imran, the changes in their television trends have been tremendous. “Technically, it has advanced. Though there was some restriction on script, we have good writers. The private channel experiment brought in good and bad work. Some went off-track and brought some vulgarity. But good writers brought sensitive work. Experimentation is a big achievement in itself.”

One would be happy to know that he has signed a few Bollywood films, including a film with Bipasha Basu called Creatures which is a 3D horror film. “I am particular about choices. A film becoming a hit or flop cannot be decided but at least my name is associated with something interesting like Creatures. My other film is Raqsh by Muzaffar Ali. It is set in 1877 and is on a sensitive topic of how foreign hands played a negative role in the divide and rule strategy amongst Hindus and Muslims.” He loved working with Bipasha who he calls a professional and a good actress.

Coming back to talking about Zee Zindagi and his show Mere Naseeb, he feels any change is good and one should accept things wholeheartedly. “Please do watch it to decide how you like it!”

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