The actor talks to Instep about starring in multiple films such as Cake and Sherdil, juggling television projects and his ambition to direct.
With two of his drama serials Alif Allah or Insaan and De Ijazat currently on air, actor and producer Mikaal Zulfiqar is all set to make a mark on cinema with multiple films that are set to release in 2018.
As an actor, Mikaal has proven his skill with several memorable performances to his credit, seen in TV productions like Sang e Mar Mar, Shehr e Zaat, Diyar e Dil, Mohabat Subh Ka Sitara Hai, Saiqa, Man Jali and Saat Pardon Mein.
It is also true that several TV drama serials with which the actor is associated have topped the ratings chart. The year 2018 will be a significant one for the star who is appearing in several films, beginning with Asim Abbasi’s Cake, which is slated to release on March 30.
In this interview with Instep, he talks about films, how he selects roles and more...
Instep: Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Mikaal Zulfiqar (MZ): My play, De Ijaazat, that went on-air just a few weeks ago, is a family oriented story about two different sides of society – the upper class and the lower middle class. Alongside acting I’m co-producing this play. I am also working on another play called Khasara in which I will be essaying a negative character, something I haven’t done in quite a while. Also, hopefully this year three of my films will be releasing. So, yeah a lot is happening.
Instep: Tell us about the three films that are scheduled to release this year.
MZ: The first one is Cake, which will hit the big screen in March. In the film, I have a cameo role; in fact I would like to call it an extended guest appearance. It is a commercial independent film directed by Asim Abbasi. It was a pleasure to work with him, as he has a very different approach towards direction. After watching the promos I wish I had a bigger role in it.
My second film is Na Band Na Barati that has been shot entirely in Canada. The story revolves around two brothers who shy away from marriage, but later get into an awkward situation and ultimately get married. The promos of this romantic comedy will be out shortly and will release somewhere in the midst of 2018.
Then there is The Trial, (the name has not been finalised as yet) which is a love story between a Pakistani guy and a Bengali girl. The movie is set against the backdrop of the fall of Dhaka in 1971. I can’t reveal too much about it. As far as my role is concerned, I am essaying the character of a young student leader who is strong and heroic.
Instep: Currently you are busy shooting for Sherdil, tell us about the project.
MZ: Well, Sherdil is what I have been working on for almost three weeks now. We have been shooting non-stop in Islamabad and on different air bases across Pakistan. Sherdil is a war film and it has been a dream to essay the role of a fighter pilot. It is predominantly an action movie that highlights the charm of the air force. Moreover, we have some phenomenal action scenes with a great storyline. The fantastic team includes Armeena Khan in the lead role besides me. And it has been directed by Azfar Jaffri and produced by Noman Khan. Moreover, DoP Riki Butland, who has shot Hollywood movies such as Star Trek and Fast and the Furious, has been roped in for this project along with Hollywood Special Effects director Scott Newman (known for his movie Armageddon and other sci-fi films). It is a very large scale project which will be shown not only in Pakistan but in 40 different countries in more than 20 languages. I think Sherdil will definitely be a feather in Pakistani cinema’s cap.
Instep: How will Sherdil be different from the movie Parwaaz hai Junoon which is also based on air force?
MZ: I don’t know much about Parwaaz hai Junoon. I am sure its plot and treatment will be different from Sherdil. I wish them all the best and I hope the audience receives both the films well.
Instep: TV or films, which medium do you prefer and why?
MZ: There is thrill and satisfaction in both. Films are satisfying but tricky and risky at the same time. Film as an industry is still in its budding stage, while television is a safe medium and we’ve kind of aced it.
Instep: What are your future plans?
MZ: Last year I focussed more on myself and my physical appearance. I lost weight, worked out a lot to get into shape for my movies and that has resulted positively as far as my career is concerned. So, the plan of staying fit is definitely there.
I also want to finish all of my projects and want to try my hand at direction. I think I would become a great director. Let’s see what the future has in store.
Mikaal Zulfiqar in a bts image from Sherdil; (below) the actor in a still from Cake opposite Sanam Saeed.