The actor and director talks to Instep about his latest project, Durj, how he physically transformed for the role and other upcoming projects.
By Maria Shirazi
With multiple plays to his credit, actor and director Shamoon Abbasi has featured in various films post revival of Pakistani cinema including Waar, O21 and Manto among others.
While the actor is all geared up for his upcoming film, Parwaaz Hai Junoon, that is slated to release on Eid-ul-Azha, Shamoon Abbasi is currently busy with his directorial venture, Durj, that features him in a pivotal role. The actor has undergone a major transformation for the film, which is based on true events.
“Durj is based on a terrifying reality and though I can’t reveal much about the plot at the moment, all I can say is that the story is based on a historical criminal act that has occurred numerous times all around the world,” Shamoon told Instep in an exclusive interview. “We researched thoroughly and picked up incidents that took place in Pakistan and then turned it into a suspense film.”
According to the actor-director, real life stories and events have always inspired him. And not only has he been appreciated for his directorial projects based on true stories, Shamoon has been awarded a few times at various film festivals as well.
When asked about his transformation for Durj, the actor shared, “The actual character that was arrested for the crime had a particular look and I wanted to look like him and hence decided not to go for a certain get up and makeup that would look fake. So I grew my beard for more than a year and went bald for the film.”
Shamoon went on to say that it was not easy for him and because he didn’t want to have this particular look to be featured in any other project, he ended up rejecting many acting projects that came his way in the last one year.
The director claims that this film, which is almost complete and is in its post production phase these days, didn’t require an all-star cast. Besides Shamoon Abbasi, the suspense film features actors Sherry Shah, Myra Khan, Dodi Khan and Nauman among others.
Coming to his upcoming Air Force movie Parwaaz Hai Junoon, the actor shared, “Director Haseeb Hassan is a good friend of mine and he requested me to be a part of the film, so I just had to say yes. I have a cameo in Parwaaz Hai Junoon and I’m essaying the role of a squad commander. It’s just a special appearance but the experience was awesome working with super energetic actors such as Ahad Raza Mir, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Shaz Khan, Hania Amir and others.”
Talking about his film, Gumm which has had international screenings, he said, “Gumm is written and directed by Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia - who have studied film from New York Film Academy, Los Angeles. The film is an action thriller that stars Sami Khan, Shameen Khan and myself in key roles.”
He added, “I love action thrillers and both Sami and I have put in a lot of efforts while shooting for the movie in dense jungle. I am proud that I am a part of a film that is making its mark around the world with multiple screenings at various international film festivals - the most recent being the Madrid International Film Festival 2018. The film has also won multiple awards aside from several nominations in different categories.”
As far as Shamoon’s upcoming projects are concerned, he is currently working on a project for Netflix that he can’t speak about it until all major aspects of the production is not sorted.
In addition to the Netflix project, Shamoon has completed the shoot of another untitled movie, which is written and directed by Kamran Shahid. “In the movie, which is based on the Indo-Pak war of 1971, I am essaying the character of a Bengali commander. The film is very close to my heart. Not only did I learn the Bengali language but shot many larger-than-life scenes for the film, which has an ensemble cast,” he concluded.