Getting into the entertainment industry is not smooth sailing, and building a successful career as an artist is even more challenging. But, if you are committed to improving your craft and are ready to give your best, you can become an inspiration for other young people who dream to become actors.
Us caught up with Hadi bin Arshad, who is a brilliant young artist, loved for his incredible performance in the web series, Summer Love, and dramas, Dushman and Alif.
Hadi speaks about his acting journey and also shares with us some advice for budding artists …
What do you like about acting the most?
Not going to lie, the money!
One thing you learned early in your career…
That you will fail and fall, but you need to get up and rise again and again and again, until you achieve your goal.
Memorable audition, if any?
I auditioned for a Bollywood film, Happy Days, which was being produced by Endemol India and Salman Khan Films. I had been shortlisted and then selected as the lead role out of 4000 actors. I fell to the ground and cried when they called me and told me I was selected.
Unfortunately, the film was shelved and the audition became my greatest - but also the most downhearted - memory when it comes to auditions.
Who are your biggest influences in the industry?
I don't think there are any in the industry. I believe the people who deeply influenced me are my parents. They're the reason I kept on going and didn't quit even when I was at my (lowest)worst. And they are the reason why I will be successful.
Did you get any formal education for this career?
No, but theatre plays helped me improve a lot. The first play I did was Baraf Paani by Hamza Bangash and that is when I started to notice the improvements in my acting. I am not saying my acting is wonderful now but better than what it was before I started doing theatre plays!
Do you believe good looks and connections are the only things that make a star?
If you have connections, you don't really need good looks…or acting skills.
Tell us about the toughest part of your work?
For me, the toughest part of my job is memorizing scripts. I go over my scenes multiple times the night before the shoot just so I remember all my lines and don't become a pain for producers, directors or co-stars. Forgetting lines is literally one of my biggest fears.
Which role that you have played so far do you like the most?
Zain from Dushman. But, I have a special place in my heart for Sami from Summer Love.
How has social media changed things for you?
Oh man, social media is such a huge part of our lives now, isn't it? Especially our careers. I got chosen for Zain in Dushman because Mont Blanc Entertainment's Tamoor Tariq saw Summer Love on social media. So, it has brought a positive change for sure. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows! Social media does have its negative traits.
The funniest thing/gossip you have heard about yourself.
That I was a “parchi” artist!
Any funny or weird thing that ever happened to you on the set.
Recently, on the sets of Dushman, I had to ride a horse that didn’t want me to ride it. After warning me three times, it ran as fast as it could. It saw a tree, ran towards its lower branches and planted its face into them. I fell hard but luckily my foot wasn't stuck in the stirrup; if it had, anything could have happened. I had the worst back pain ever, but came to shoot the next day!
Any tips for aspiring actors.
I think aspiring actors should first focus on perfecting their skill and then start auditioning at different production houses. But, most of all, they should understand that it's not as easy as pie getting into the industry, or even after getting into it, getting work. It takes time, it takes patience, and a lot of networking.
So, make friends on your way, lots of friends, and on the side keep getting better at your craft. You'll get there.
How do you deal with self-doubt?
Most crushing feeling ever. But I pray and ask Allah to help me get through it.
Date of birth and star
Sept 21, Virgo
The best thing about being a teenager was
Never had to worry about money or bills or rent or expenses. Such ease! No responsibilities at all.
The worst thing about being a teenager was
I don’t think there was anything even bad about teenage. I miss it, to be honest!
I was always listening to
Jay Sean! I was a huge Jay Sean fan!
My favourite actors
Shah Rukh Khan and Tom Cruise
My favourite singers
Jay Sean and Atif Aslam
My favourite superhero
Spiderman and Batman, but now I’m all about Thor.
My favourite movies
Main Hoon Na and Mission Impossible were on top of everything.
My favourite book
Wasn’t into books, at all.
My closet was full of
Oversized shirts and pants that my parents bought for me but also lots of cricket stuff. Played a lot of cricket!
My friends were
Less in quantity more in quality
My first crush
Wow, I guess it was a teacher of mine. Yeah, probably Ms. Lanktree in 5th grade
What hurt me the most was
Losing my grandparents
My dream was to become
A pilot, then a tennis player, then a basketball player, then an architect and then a cricket player. Never thought I would end up being an actor!
I wish I had known then
That it would take 12 years to land my first leading role in a Pakistani drama. Trust me, I'd say no to acting 12 years ago.
Relations with family were
Always amazing! I'm grateful for the parents I have, the siblings I have, and now the wife and daughter I have. Alhumdulillah!
My school was
A place for me to skip classes and practice basketball so we could win tournaments. Our teachers called it "official bunking".
My favourite subject was
P.E. I was a sports bug!
My least favourite subject was
Chemistry, I got 3 out of 100 in my exams. I hated chemistry.
I couldn’t stand
My favourite food
Daal chawal, still my favourite!
My favourite sport was
5 things you couldn’t live without
I was too carefree and low maintenance. I could live without everything and still be cool with it!