Catching up with Ahmed Ali Akbar

May 24, 2020

After impressing viewers with strong performances in Laal Kabootar and drama serial Ehd e Wafa, the actor is prepping for a film that he hopes will go on floors early next year.

A large number of followers on social media certainly speaks of an actor’s popularity but it may not necessarily reflect the quality of their craft. Likewise, an incredibly talented performer does not always have huge following. However, their consistent efforts and brilliant work eventually gets them the recognition they deserve.

One Pakistani actor who has had a similar trajectory is Ahmed Ali Akbar. With versatile TV appearances in dramas like Mera Yaar Miladay, Yeh Raha Dil and others to his name, the actor recently attracted a lot of attention and praise for his performances in Laal Kabootar (2019) and recently concluded drama serial Ehd e Wafa.

Instep got in touch with the acclaimed, award-winning television and film actor to speak about his recent work as well as upcoming projects. Ahmed considers himself amongst the fortunate people whose lives haven’t changed much due to the pandemic; that said he emphasizes on helping those who are badly hit by present circumstances.

“I didn’t go out much anyway so I am following the same routine that I had. I do however believe now is the time to help the ones whose lives have turned upside down,” he shared, during the interview.

In talks for multiple projects lately, Ahmed Ali Akbar revealed that he is currently preparing for an upcoming film which is expected to go on shoot sometime early next year if things return to normal. However, he didn’t reveal any details about the film as of now.

The actor last appeared on the big screen as a protagonist in Kamal Khan’s debut film Laal Kabootar opposite Mansha Pasha. He won the Best Actor Male trophy at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival for his phenomenal performance in the film. Ahmed not only received international recognition for his first full-fledged role on the big screen but also got to show his range as an actor with this intense character.

“I feel extremely proud and fortunate to have been a part of Laal Kabootar; it’s one of the finest projects I have done, with an extremely talented team,” Ahmed expressed, adding, “I’m only humbled by the international recognition it received. It has given confidence to writers and directors by widening the gamut of stories that can be told in our country about our country. I have learned that just as we need a bit of faith there must also be fearlessness to approach stories like Laal Kabootar.”

Laal Kabootar was not your average romantic comedy or a conventional love story; hence there was speculation as to how the film will fare at the box office. In addition to multiple international screenings, the film was Pakistan’s official selection for Oscar consideration, while it returned to cinemas for a re-run months after its initial release.

“I don’t think genre has anything to do with how good a movie is or isn’t,” Ahmed furthered. “I knew it was going to have a limited audience and reach but I had no doubts about the content and its quality. I remember the manager of one of the busiest cinemas in the country telling me that this film is a ‘lambi race ka ghora’ and never in his 20-year career had he seen a Pakistani film receive applause after every screening.”

Moving on, the actor generated great reviews for his convincing performance in recently concluded drama serial Ehd e Wafa that followed the lives of four friends. He co-starred with Osman Khalid Butt, Wahaj Ali and Ahad Raza Mir. Twitter was flooded with praise for his work while a social media poll ranked him on top in terms of performance.

“I knew it was going to be a big project,” Ahmed noted, reflecting on Ehd e Wafa’s success. “It also felt good to be part of a drama that was much more than your run-of-the-mill story. It turned out to be one of the most memorable characters I have done on TV. The feedback I received online is overwhelming even to this day.”

When asked if he thinks it was his most talked about role, Ahmed responded that Ehd e Wafa has been one of the most talked about dramas in the history of Pakistan television.

“My personal career is puny in comparison. Apart from being a spiritual successor to Alpha Bravo Charlie I believe the content was strong enough to receive the kind of global viewership it received,” he concluded.

Catching up with Ahmed Ali Akbar