‘Getting lead roles has never been my priority’ –Humayoun Ashraf

By Asif Khan
Tue, 01, 23

In a candid interview with You! this debonair actor talks about his experiences in the entertainment industry…

‘Getting lead roles has never been my priority’ –Humayoun Ashraf


When it comes to young, talented and handsome actors of today, Humayoun Ashraf’s name instantly comes to one’s mind. Ashraf is known for his versatile acting. From playing the kind-hearted Nabeel in serial ‘Hasil’ (2016) to a stubborn male chauvinist Sohail in ‘Rang Mehal’ (2021), Ashraf has been constantly winning the hearts of his fans with amazing performances. He appeared as Haroon in ‘Ishq Hamari Galiyon Mein’ for which he received an award for Best Soap Actor in 2013. Ashraf started his acting career from PTV in 2011 and after that he showed his acting skills in several hit drama serials including ‘Zid’ (2014), ‘Mere Khuda’ (2015), ‘Khuda Aur Muhabbat’ (2016), ‘Karam Jali’ (2018),‘Saza e Ishq’ (2020), etc. He made his film debut in 2019 with romantic musical film ‘Sacch’. His good looks also helped in doing commercials for a number of TVCs including brands like PTCL, Jazz Power, Cadbury, Telenor, Maaza, Shan, Shield, Wateen, Q-Mobile, Pakistan Cables, etc. His journey that kicked off as a young model with ruffled hair, clad in rumpled jackets and stiff denim, now transformed him into a mature actor, clad in classic shirts, slicked back hair and expressive smile. In a candid interview with You! this debonair actor talks about his experiences in the entertainment industry…

‘Getting lead roles has never been my priority’ –Humayoun Ashraf

How did your journey in showbiz kick off?

During the last days of my school, just like all other boys of my age, I felt that I should start modeling but the question was how to go about it. Initially, I approached few directors (through newspaper ads), offering roles to newcomers in dramas but later, I came to know that it was a hoax to trap young people for monetary gains. Then, one day I went to a location where ace director Asim Raza was shooting an ad and he spotted me, although I was standing in the crowd. He asked me to send my portfolio. Later, I met a coordinator who picked me and lined up my auditions with few agencies. Initially, I got supporting roles which I enacted well and started getting more lines and substantial scenes. This struggle continued till three or four years and then leading roles started coming thick and fast.

How do you maintain versatility?

I always look for different roles. Getting lead roles has never been my priority. I’m very picky about my projects and only challenging roles attract me. So, I wait for the right roles instead of going on a signing spree. A channel offered me a leading role but after listening to the script, I requested them to consider me for the other role that had negative shade with ample margin to show my acting skills.

Which projects do you think gave your career a boost?

I think two of my serials brought me dollops of praise and critical acclaim. One is ‘Tere Bina’(2017) where I played a negative role opposite Neelum Munir and Sami Khan and the other was ‘Ab Dekh Khuda Kya Karta Hai’(2018) where despite appearing in the 11th episode, I made a very powerful entry with a very strong role.

Your favourite co-actors:

Marina Khan, Sania Saeed, Amna Sheikh, Sarwat Gilani, Sanam Baloch, Saba Qamar, Nauman Ijaz and few others.

Have you thought of delving into script writing?

I haven’t done script writing but yes, I sometimes edit scripts with the permission of directors who trust my abilities. I also want to get into production and direction, eventually.

If you opt to produce, who will you be your first choice?

I would love to cast Sanam Baloch. She is a wonderful actor.

Any films in pipeline?

‘Jinna Teri Marzi’, a Punjabi romcom, shot in London and directed by Zulfiqar Sheikh and Prem Jeet Singh. Another film is ‘Dhai Chaal’, directed by Taimoor Sherazi.

‘Getting lead roles has never been my priority’ –Humayoun Ashraf

How do you view the importance of theater in an actor’s life?

There couldn’t be any better school other than theater for artistic freedom. But it’s a demanding medium and you have to spare a generous amount of time to do justice with it. But if I get a chance I would love to be a part of it; to be able to learn more about acting in all its manifestations.

Your telefilm ‘Saima Alone’ is way too difficult for your fans to forget. How was the experience?

It had everything a telefilm needs to keep you hooked - bold story line, splashy drama, classic execution and plenty of intriguing scenes. Besides, working opposite legendary Rubina Ashraf was itself a massive challenge for me. It was altogether a great learning experience.

How important is it for an actor to show his presence on social media?

Although, I am not one of the keen adopters of social media, maintaining an online realm and digital presence is now a pre-requisite. It is so powerful that with a single post you reach people all over the world in seconds. So, if you want to stay in the limelight, you need to show your presence on social media too.

What bores you the most and what do you really enjoy?

Pseudo-intellectualism makes me yawn; however, I do enjoy the company of genuine people.

Coordination: Ehsan Iqbal