Having featured on this year’s Masala magazine’s HOT 100 list and titled Esquire Magazine’s Most Talented Asian in UAE, Dubai-based actor/producer/director Asad Raza is keen to make Pakistan proud after receiving recognition on various global fronts. He has been an integral part of Dubai’s theatre circuit and has won multiple accolades including the Best Actor trophy in 2013, followed by the same in 2014, 2017 and 2018. He is the first Pakistani actor to have won this award in Dubai.
Reflecting on his win and what made it possible, Asad shared in a recent interview, “In 2012, I debuted in Dubai with a play called One Day in the Season of the Rain. The love that the city gave me (for it) was honestly overwhelming. After that I had decided to continue pouring my heart and soul into the arts. I took part in four different productions after that before landing the title [role] in Hamlet. I went to the Royal Shakespeare Company in UK to train for the role and after four months of extensive rehearsals, we put on a show that took critics and audiences by storm. It was due to that role that I landed my first Best Actor award in 2013.”
Known for his amazing comic timing as well as the ability to portray a Shakespearean tragedy, Asad has managed to carve a niche for himself, both on stage and the screen. He has done musical theatre, international films as well as television in Dubai, India, Europe and other states.
Speaking of his experience in India, the artist noted, “The experience was an extremely positive one. I was given so much love and attention that it was humbling. Whenever people found out that I was a Pakistani they would go out of their way to help/take care of me. The most common question I was asked was about our music and television – they are [a] phenomenon in India!”
Being a Pakistani actor based in Dubai, Asad plans to showcase his work particularly, films, in Pakistan. They have made it to numerous international festivals in the past.
“We definitely want to come as soon as we have an opportunity. We also hopefully want to make some content in Pakistan!” he expressed.
When asked about Pakistani films and if he sees himself working in one, Asad replied, “I am a huge fan of local films! The industry is still in a growing stage and has immense potential. For the number of screens, and the penetration that we have, versus other markets, we are still doing very well. I am in talks for a few upcoming projects but I can’t discuss them at this point.”
As far as future projects are concerned, Asad informed that his primary focus is Pakistan and he wishes to come back soon. He also revealed that he is planning to produce a play called Enter Macbeth, in UAE to be directed by Meghana Mundkur. It will be staged in November this year. They are also exploring the relationship of the South Asian diaspora in their upcoming web series, Howzat – a spinoff of one of his most successful productions in the UAE.