We saw three Pakistani films this past week; Parey Hut Love, Heer Maan Ja and Superstar all released and performed quite well at the local and international box office. While reviews have been a combination of good and average, each film has been appreciated for one thing or the other. In other words, none of the three was considered a complete dud. When it comes to the casts, besides the lead actors, some characters really stood out such as Chutki (Alizeh Shah) in Superstar and Wajdaan (Faizan Sheikh) in Heer Maan Ja, among others.
Mojiz Hasan, who essays the role of Kabir’s (Ali Rehman Khan) best friend Jerry, was one of those new actors that left a lasting impression. Portraying a rich yet innocent guy with an overbearing father, Jerry came across as a fun loving and helpful guy who drove a yellow car and was fond of video games. There for his friend through thick and thin, he was always cheerful, sensitive and made room for some good humour in the film.
“I have never really gotten a more responsible role than this; I rehearsed for it over a month,” Mojiz shared as we sat for an interview prior to the release of the film.
Having done theatre including Anwar Maqsood’s Pawnay 14 August in 2012 and its sequel Sawa 14 August in 2013, Mojiz has about eight years of experience in acting. Last year, he made his film debut with a small role in action-comedy Parchi and this year he returned to the big screen with an extended role in Heer Maan Ja.
“I learnt a lot from this film as the role isn’t limited to comedy but also demanded some seriousness,” the actor informed, adding, “I used to think acting is fun but I realized it is not easy to act; one has to grasp the context to be able to deliver well. It was a great opportunity for me and opened new avenues for me.”
Mojiz admitted that he got calls for various offers after people saw him in the film’s teasers and trailer, particularly because of his scenes with Aamina Sheikh who has a cameo in HMJ. He recently shot for a TVC as well as an upcoming TV play and observed how the film helped him get better at his craft.
An Indus Valley graduate and a game developer by qualification, Mojiz had a hard time convincing his family and getting into the field of acting.
“Nobody in my family has ever been associated with art and therefore it is difficult for me to explain the nature of my work to them,” he shared. “All they think of is I am from ‘media’; it is an umbrella term for them under which they put everyone attached to the business in any way. Nonetheless, I pursued the craft with dedication and remained consistent. I am getting more work now and my parents have begun to realize that I have achieved at least something.”
Moving on, Mojiz spoke about diversifying as an actor and experimenting with different kinds of roles. Though he has mostly taken up comic roles, he is willing to try his hand at serious ones too. While Heer Maan Ja is a mix of both, he will be essaying a serious role in his upcoming TV play.
“I liked the fact that I got to diversify because if you keep on doing similar roles, people start seeing you that way,” he furthered, maintaining that he does not mind if it is a small part. “If a role is offered to an actor, they should do justice to the character. First I read what other characters are playing and even if my role is small, I need to know how integral it is to the narrative.”
Directed by Azfar Jafri and produced by IRK Films and Arif Lakhani Films in association with Geo Films, Heer Maan Ja is running in cinemas nationwide. If you haven’t watched it yet, grab your tickets now.