Graceful and witty Nauman Ijaz represents a league of his own. An actor, host, anchor, producer and businessman, he is incredibly versatile. Nauman has always made choices that were far advanced for his time, more radical than conventional, blowing up stereotypes with varied and complex set of roles. Nauman is the recipient of several accolades including President’s Pride of Performance, which was awarded to him in 2012.
Nauman began his acting career in 1987 with drama ‘Din’. Some of his most notable serials include ‘Noorpur ki Rani’ (2009), ‘Mera Saeein’ (2010), ‘Durr-e-Shahwar’ (2011), ‘Badi Apa’ (2012), ‘Jackson Heights’ (2014), ‘Sang e Mar Mar’ (2016), ‘Dar Si Jati Hai Sila’ (2017), ‘O Rangreza’ (2017), ‘Raqeeb Se’ (2021), ‘Parizaad’ (2021) and ‘Sang-e-Mah’ (2022). Apart from drama serials, Nauman has also worked in a few Pakistani movies. His most notable film is ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ (2008). This week, in an exclusive interview with You! the legendary actor talks about his work over the years…
How do you sum up 35 years in the showbiz world?
It’s a fickle world. The lesson that I have learned from life is that a person should not forget two things ever; firstly, your back ground - where are you coming from – and secondly, you are mortal and you have to go back to your Creator one day.
Sometimes, being famous and powerful, we tend to assume that we are here forever. That’s where we go wrong. We are in transit. We should be humble and grounded. Even the sun confronts a sinking spell and that too each and every day showing us that no matter how brilliantly you take off, and how high you go up, you get to land eventually. So the success lies in humility. If you are mindful of these things, then your middle journey would be tranquil.
What is your key to success?
I am very committed with my work. I believe in fair play and I think that’s my key to success.
What are some of your favourite drama serials?
All my serials are my favourite. I consider myself lucky that I get such diverse set of roles which connected me to my viewers.
What is an actor’s real job?
Acting is a passion, not a profession or job that has a pre-set rulebook to go about it. It’s a rollercoaster ride with unpredictable ups and downs. It’s about observing and analysing the world around you and then all you require to do is a fine execution from what you have learnt.
Why have you stopped working in films?
Here, filmmakers make mostly commercial films. I don’t want to work in run-of-the-mill movies anymore; neither do I want to be a part of formula films. Frankly speaking, our (most) films look like a long drama. Our filmmakers need to understand that films have a different cult. They need to find a balance between art and commercial movies.
What persuaded you to venture into production?
After spending so many years in showbiz and acting, becoming a producer was, somehow, a natural transition for me.
Tell us a bit about your philanthropic work?
I am already associated with Indus Hospital and Akhuwat Foundation. Here, I would like to specifically mention that whenever I go abroad, I come across very robust, patriotic and loyal Pakistani diaspora. They are our bigger asset. They are our best minds, professionals and entrepreneurs who always support their countrymen in daunting times. Due to their own circumstances, they migrated to greener pastures for their families. But their hearts beat only for Pakistan. According to a Gallup survey, Pakistanis are ahead of the people of 24 countries of the world in patriotism.
What do you consider to be your biggest success?
When people half my age and people living abroad recognise me and talk about my roles and applaud my work, that’s what I take as my biggest achievement and award. I simply love it when some ardent fan walks up to me; recognises me with the name of some character that I have portrayed instead of my real name. I consider it to be my biggest success.