US

In conversation with Affan Waheed

US
By Tooba Ghani
Fri, 07, 20

For me, success is futile if it doesn’t make you humble and kind. To me success is an opportunity to contribute to others’ wellbeing or nothing fails like success....

COVER STORY

What does success mean to you?

Modernism, unfortunately, has made us see everything in a different light and success is no exception. We have been raised with the belief that if we aren’t successful in life, we will be shunned by our families and society.

Imprinted deep in our memories, we can never dissociate ourselves with the scary concept of success; hence, the restlessness we see all around.

For me, success is futile if it doesn’t make you humble and kind. To me success is an opportunity to contribute to others’ wellbeing or nothing fails like success.

Something you learned early in your career which helped you become a better actor?

Someone once told me to be a thinking actor. This has quite a role to play in whatever little I have achieved so far. Also, learning the subtle art of patience, quite herculean in its manifestation, though, has helped me go through these years with relatively less friction.

What is the most challenging thing about this career?

The fact that we are depreciating assets. The nature of our work is quite volatile. Also, the unpredictable routines!

Did you get any formal education for this career? If not, then how did you learn the craft of acting? If someone wants to get into the acting career, where and how should they educate themselves?

For me acting was an accident waiting to happen so I landed directly on set before I could get a chance to hone my talent. So coming to work every day, I, somewhat, learnt the craft in my humble capacity. For those who want to get into the acting career, please read. Be a voracious reader! Tap into the work of your seniors, finish your degree and be patient. This work is not as fun as it seems. Come prepared.

Who are some of your role model actors/actresses, and what do you like about their work?

Oh, the list is long. My seniors have been pretty kind to impart their knowledge to me. I’m forever grateful to them.

From all your roles so far, which role was the most meaningful to you, and why?

Baydardi, I’d say. I played an AIDS victim. It gave me a lot of insight into their lives and that, in all fairness, was nothing short of an eye-opening experience.

Do you believe good looks and connections are the only things that make a star?

To some extent, yes! The concept of stardom is a little morbid, here. Plus, with the onslaught of apps like TikTok and what not, it’s only getting worse. Your body of work should decide your stature not your connections. I dread the fact that our kids are being raised in times when being famous and rich is the only norm left.

How has social media changed things for you? What’s the best and worst thing about social media?

The best and the worst thing about social media is unfortunately the same: the freedom of speech. Freedom brings responsibility, whereas, what we witness around us is the opposite.

Yes, social media has changed things for me; my fear of judgement has become more paranoid. Lol. But yeah, it has given me a conduit to tap into peoples’ lives from different backgrounds and cultures. Communicating with them opens doors for me in its own mysterious ways. That part I love the most.

The funniest thing or gossip you have heard about yourself? How did you react to it?

That Iqra Aziz and I got engaged. We both took it as a jest and laughed it off.

Reflecting on your career, what lessons have you learned and how have they helped you evolve?

Happiness has nothing to do with money or fame. That has always helped me sail in a crisis with grace and evolve as a person and just not as a professional.

How do you deal with self-doubt?

Life without self-doubt is a myth! No one can survive without doubts and fears. So, accepting this helps you halfway, though, the rest is a mix of so many things which varies from situation to situation. And that includes gratitude(essentially), faith and patience.

Three pieces of advice for aspiring actors.

Focus, the rest will follow.

Be humble.

Compete, but don’t let this turn you into horses. You are and will always remain an artist. So, compete with grace.

MY TEENAGE YEARS SECTION

Date of birth and star

29th September; Libra

The best thing about being a teenager was

The world was my oyster, so hope hardly wavered.

The worst thing about being a teenager was

Not knowing how to deal with heartbreaks. Lol

I was always listening to

I grew up listening to Bollywood classics and Abida Perveen.

My favourite actor and singer

Tom Cruise and Abida Perveen. I know, quite diverse a taste it was.

My favourite super hero

Superman

My favourite movie and book

Forrest Gump and The God of Small Things

My closet was full of

I had everything in a decent degree so it was a bit of everything I needed. Nothing flamboyant.

My friends were

My friends were my haven in hard times and they still are and will always be.

What hurt me the most was

Judgements

My dream was to become

Doctor

My first crush/date was

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeves so no recollection of the

first crush or date. I had

innumerable and benign crushes.

I wish I had known then

The perils of growing up

Relations with family were

My saving grace

My favourite subject was

English and biology

My least favourite subjects were

Chemistry and geography

I couldn’t stand

Violence of any sort

My favourite food

Pulao rice

My favourite place

Kept traveling around the country, so no one place.

My favourite sport was

Badminton

Advice to your younger self

Be kind and have courage

By Tooba Ghani