Actor Mohsin Abbas Haider seems to be on a streak of good luck. His brief stint as a rapper-singer in the show Mazaak Raat riveted the audiences’ attention towards him, but it’s with Na Maloom Afraad that he has established a standing in the industry.
Five years ago, Haider used to think that he could achieve fame and success overnight, but was given a reality check when he shifted to Karachi from Faislabad.
“I went to Napa to learn singing and thought that becoming a star will be an overnight process. That’s when I realised I was terribly wrong,” Haider tells The Express Tribune.
Today, his debut film Na Maloom Afraad has turned out to be a surprise package for Pakistani cinema, managing to garner both critical and commercial acclaim. However, his journey to the big screen does not just include TV as a milestone, as he spent considerable time in radio, something that is reflective in his ability to sing.
For now, Haider has no plans of making the drastic decision of quitting TV, as he feels that the cinema industry is still in its nascent phase. “I think I’ll continue with TV and will not just focus on films because, currently, our film industry is in the crawling stage,” he comments. “With one or two films releasing in a year, we can’t term this as the industry’s revival,” he adds.
Haider’s relationship with Na Maloom Afraad director Nabeel Qureshi goes a long way back. The duo has known each other since its early days in the industry and used to spend time together, brainstorming creative ideas. His chemistry with Qureshi is evident in his performance in the film.
Haider has often been panned by critics for over-acting, but he remains undeterred. “I never bother thinking about opinions others have about me. Many people a draw parallel between my stints in TV and film, ignoring the fact that what I do on TV and what I did in the film are two different things altogether,” remarks the actor.
Haider has closely followed and learnt from the works of actors, such as Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Talat Hussain, Salman Shahid and Waheed Murad. He is open to the idea of working in Bollywood, given that the script is substantial.
“I’d love to broaden my horizons. But it’s better to work here in a first-rate Pakistani film rather than opting for a B or C-category Bollywood project,” he states.
Citing the example of Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas starring in Bollywood films Khoobsurat and Creature 3D, he says that the former did a film that suited his style of acting, while the latter chose a “lame film for a debut” because of his indecisiveness.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.