Instep Today

In conversation with Hamza Firdous

Instep Today
By Buraq Shabbir
Sat, 02, 18

Starring as a young, Hindu man in new period drama Ghughi, the actor speaks about his journey through the entertainment industry and portraying unconventional characters on the small screen.

Instep INTERVIEW

Riding high on the success of drama serial O’Rangreza, in which he essays the role of a self-centered and greedy young man, Hamza Firdous is the newest addition to the current crop of Pakistani actors. Son of veteran actor Firdous Jamal, Hamza has been able to prove his mettle with his debut project (O’Rangreza) while period drama Ghughi, in which he stars as a young Hindu man, called Tek Chand, is solid proof of his diversity as an actor. The character of Tek Chand is in sharp contrast with Tipu in O’Rangreza; the former is that of a very good man while the latter is completely on the negative side.

“Both the characters are extremely different from each other; everyone assumed that I am like that guy (Tipu) so now when Ghughi came, it gives them something extra to see,” Hamza shared with Instep in an exclusive interview. “When the character is completely different, it gives you so much to play with. If it is well developed on a script, it makes it very easy for you to take things out from it. When this was offered, they asked me to watch Pinjar on which it is based on, but I refused to do that. Pinjar was only a three-hour movie and this is a 26-episode drama; the character was limited in the film. If I would have seen that, I would have referenced scenes and for the scenes which are new in the drama, I wouldn’t have had a reference. So, I sort of created my own character keeping the soul of the character similar.”

Hamza Firdous with Sajal Aly and Sonia Mishal in a still from O’Rangreza.

Given that Hamza essays the role of a Hindu, he had to go through a bit of training in terms of language and accent before he shot for the role.

“I used to listen to kavitas of Amitabh Bachchan and I used to find new words that can be used as alternatives in Hindi,” he informed. “It was a great experience to be a part of and the response has been phenomenal. Ghughi is a period drama so we don’t have a wide audience for that but even then we have received a really good response.”

Hamza may be new to the entertainment industry in Pakistan but he had been doing theatre in Ireland where he lived for about 8-10 years. Having graduated in Accounts and Finance, Hamza thought that he could never act so he went for studies abroad. But while he was studying, he realized that this was not his field and even thought about quitting but ultimately managed to complete his degree.

Hamza Firdous as Tek Chand in period drama Ghughi.

“During that time, I was doing English theatre back in Ireland and I could sense that it was something I wanted to do but didn’t have the confidence,” the actor admitted. “But then I decided to continue doing what I really wanted to; I studied quite a few acting methods and then I started producing short films, aside from acting in short films and dramas for five years. After that, I was prepared to move to London because the market is bigger there. But my father refused, saying that things have changed drastically in Pakistan and there are many opportunities so I came here. Instead of asking producers and directors to cast me, he asked me to go and meet them with my portfolio. That is how I landed O’Rangreza, followed by Ghughi.

Being a star kid, Hamza too came across remarks suggesting that he is privileged thanks to his father and that must have made things easier for him.

Speaking on the subject, Hamza asserted, “It is fair of people to put you in that bracket because everyone thinks that I had the privileges and the advantage to at least get into the door. And yes, I won’t lie that it wasn’t hard for me to step into the industry because of my father’s name. But from there on, it was a completely different story because I had my past work and experience with me. If it wasn’t that, I could have taken complete advantage of his name and would’ve opted for a hero-ish role and not a supporting character like in O’Rangreza or even in Ghughi.”

Reflecting on portrayal of men on the small screen, which is known as the domain of women, the actor said that he doesn’t want to limit himself in terms of roles. However he said that he would like to essay one of those clichéd roles as he hasn’t done one yet.

“But even in that clichéd role, I want to bring something else to it too,” he added. “I am more inclined towards working with directors, producers and writers who allow you to derive something out of those clichéd characters. At the end of the day, we are all different people and need to bring our individuality to the roles we portray.”

Moving on to his future projects, the actor informed that his next project also features him in a unique way and that he plays the role of a very religious guy. The upcoming dramas will see him in lead roles as opposed to his past works. One of them is confirmed, titled Seerat, while he is in talks for the second one that, he claimed, no one has seen on Pakistani television before.

Besides that, Hamza will soon be transitioning to films. He has been offered a film that he is considering these days while he has also penned two film scripts aside from a short film that he plans to direct soon.