Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan on his experiments with acting and growing up on Bachchan movies.
By now you must be acquainted with Mumbai and our film industry. How ‘Bollywoodised’ do you feel?
I’m getting familiar with the geography of the city. I know that pehle Bandra aata hai, then Juhu, and then Andheri but there is definitely scope for more “Bollywoodisation”. Now that we are promoting Khoobsurat, I find it exhausting to talk so much about myself. I’m a man of few opinions, which I prefer to keep to myself. As it is, there is too much noise all the time. Why add to it?
Your character Zaroon in the Pakistani romantic drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai is immensely popular in India. Are there any similarities between the two of you?
Only the romantic part is me.
That’s practically the entire show then, since he has a romantic approach towards life — he makes the girl believe that zindagi gulzar hai.
That’s not me at all. I know life can be very disappointing and hard. I see life logically but when it comes to my romantic side, then I can even take a bullet for the woman I love.
Why did you choose Khoobsurat as your Bollywood debut?
Because it’s a classic romcom. As a newcomer, I felt it was better to attempt something safe rather than something that is overtly intellectual.
You enjoy huge stardom in Pakistan. Has it been difficult to begin again in a new film industry?
Yes, it’s difficult but had I started from scratch, then, perhaps my ego would not have allowed me to try out Bollywood. I took up this offer with the attitude ki dekhte hain kya hoga (let’s see what happens)! I want the characters that I inhabit to create a ripple, even if it’s a seven-minute role.
Did you always want to be an actor?
I stumbled into acting. When I was in my first year of college, a friend offered me a role in a slapstick comedy show he was making titled Jutt and Bond. The money was great and I had to play an idiot on screen, so I took it up without a thought. Then, I quit acting and started my band, EP (Entity Paradigm). My friends feel that I could have pursued a solo music career. But by this time, my wife Sadaf (then my girlfriend) started getting marriage proposals and I realised that I had to take a few decisions. My father-in-law was a civil servant — I definitely didn’t want him to see Jutt and Bond. To make a good impression, I took up various 9-to-5 jobs — I worked in a construction firm, I even packed boxes. Around that time, the same friend persuaded me to return to acting. …continued »