Instep Today

In conversation with Imran Abbas

Instep Today
By Maria Shirazi
Wed, 09, 19

The actor reflects on playing a harasser in ongoing drama serial Darr Khuda Say and shares that he is selective about signing new roles.

Imran Abbas shares the screen with Sana Javed in Geo Entertainment's ongoing drama serial Darr Khuda Say that talks about sexual harassment at the workplace.

Actor and host Imran Abbas has a number of diverse roles to his credit, in drama serials like Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan, Mohabbat Tumse Nafrat Hai and the most recently concluded Koi Chand Rakh. Presently the actor is playing key roles in dramas Jo Tu Chahay and Darr Khuda Say; he essays the role of a caring and considerate young man in the former while Darr Khuda Say features him as a harasser. The play tackles the subject of sexual harassment at the workplace where the boss (Imran) makes life living hell for an employee, played by Sana Javed.

“My characters are completely different from each other in terms of their nature and performance. The very reason I decided to do these two characters simultaneously was to experiment with my own acting abilities and skills between positive and negative,” Imran Abbas shared in this exclusive interview with Instep.

The actor feels that Shahwaiz in Darr Khuda Say is extremely negative, something he has never done before.

“Essaying a negative character was definitely difficult for me as I have mostly played chocolate hero roles in the past; the most challenging bit was to make my audience accept me in a villainous role,” Imran continued. “On the contrary, my character in Jo Tu Chahay (earlier tilted Kun Faya Kun) is very positive, strong and philosophical in nature, though his appearance is not as impactful.

Speaking of feedback, Imran went on to say that he is overwhelmed by the positive response that he has been receiving for both the roles, particularly for Darr Khuda Say that is socially relevant.

He furthered, “To be honest, the main reason I opted for Darr Khuda Say was to educate the audience about the hardships a woman faces when she steps out of the house to financially support her family,” the actor explained. “Through this project we wanted to reach a larger audience and create awareness about this particular social issue that exists in our society.”

“If we don’t support our women in such matters, this problem will continue to exist,” he added. “What bothers me the most is that in most harassment cases, it is the women who are usually blamed. In fact, the real reason for making this project was not only to spread awareness but also to help create a more secure and respectable working environment for women.”

Talking about socially-relevant plays that often come across as very depressing, Imran agreed that the content has become too dark. “I know for a fact that the audience doesn’t like to watch the same kind of sad content all the time. However, as actors, we have a responsibility to highlight such issues that are so common yet nobody is willing to talk about them. As a person who could potentially change people’s mindsets, I really believe that it is my duty to take on such roles that can bring about a change,” he elaborated.

As far as choosing roles is concerned, the actor admitted that he gets carried away at times and ends up making mistakes. However, he mentioned that money does play an important role but not all the time, since one doesn’t want to compromise on quality. For Imran, it’s more about the whole combination – character, director, writer, channel as well as the cast. “It’s all about being happy, comfortable and positive on the set,” he said.

When asked about his upcoming projects, the actor informed that he plans to take up light, fun projects that aren’t too depressing. He revealed that he will soon be seen in upcoming drama serial Bheegi Palkein opposite Ayeza Khan.

Besides, he shared that there is a music-based TV project as well as a talk show in the pipeline that Imran will be hosting. He refrained from revealing much about that though.

As far as movies are concerned, Imran told Instep that he was offered about 80 per cent of the films made in Pakistan post cinema revival. “I’m very selective in case of movies,” he shared, adding, “Movies have a wider audience that too in different parts of the world so one needs to be very careful. I have not been moved by any particular script or character offered to me in a movie so I have decided to stick to dramas for now.”

On a parting note, the Darr Khuda Say actor revealed that the Hollywood project his name has been associated with is still in the works. “I had certain issues with the script since it’s a very sensitive role. I don’t want to do something that I disagree with or that would stir up a controversy. If I have some ideological differences with the concept, my acting wouldn’t translate naturally on the screen and I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the character nor the storyline. I had a discussion about it with the production team that agreed to make some changes while keeping the essence of the narrative intact. I’m looking forward to it,” he concluded.