|Faisal Qureshi – An Actor Par Excellence
by SALEHA ABBASI
Faisal Qureshi is one of the most versatile actors of our country. He has marvelous acting skills that make him stand high among the crowd of many. Over the years, Faisal has carved a niche for himself with his stunning performances in many super-hit drama serials. From his rustic role in Boota from Toba Tek Singh to his critically acclaimed character of Ayaz in Roag, from his intensely moving performance in Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan to his comic character in Kis Din Mera Viyaah Howay Ga, he has proved time and again that he can portray any character with ease. This gifted actor believes he has a long way to go. Recently, MAG caught up with Faisal and talked about his passion for acting. Excerpts:
How would you describe your transition as an actor from your popular character Boota to your character in Sabz Pari Lal Kabootar?
After getting my big break from Boota from Toba Tek Singh, I had no specific plans, but by the grace of Allah, I was lucky enough that offers started pouring in. I never wanted to become a hero, what I had planned was to get into that selected list of versatile actors and to be recognised as one. That was my ultimate goal and I set my mind to work hard and achieve it. Although, I also played those run-of-the-mill kind of characters in the beginning but as I developed as an actor I started getting really good offers. Now, I am at that stage of my career, where I can choose to do whatever I want.
How has the experience of hosting a morning show been? And how is your show different from other shows?
The experience has been amazing and the best part is that I am directly connected to my fans. When I am on air, I am the way I am in real life and I do not fake anything. Similarly, my show is different in a way that I have never organised a wedding week or a supernatural show. I try my best to raise social issues and discuss those instead.
Drama serial Jahez throws light on the social custom of dowry. What is your say on Sheikhoo's character in the serial? Do you think such characters exist in our society?
Well… they certainly do exist. They are influenced by their parents, who put pressure on them and manipulate them. I believe that guys who are being manipulated like this can play a vital role if they change their attitude. So, I really hope that people will learn a lesson from Sheikhoo's character.
How was your experience of Nachle 4?
It was great, because there is so much talent in our country. Although, it's true that we still have a long way to go in order to make our mark in dancing, however, 3 or 4 guys in this season of Nachle are truly spectacular. I believe they can prove themselves as great dancers.
Have you experienced any real life nightmares?
I do not think so, because I never plan things. I just work hard, do my best and leave the result on Allah. So even now, things tend to shape up on their own and opportunities keep coming. I am getting great offers, so I would say that I am truly blessed that way and I do not experience any nightmares at all.
Is there a particular role that you want to play but have never been offered?
No, it has never happened to me. However, there were a few serials which I refused but there was always a perfectly good reason behind my refusal. Sometimes, I felt that I had done something similar before that so I declined the offer. For instance, Ashar's role in Humsafar was offered to me but I refused, because I felt that the character was a blend of the characters I depicted in Qaid-e-Tanhai and Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan. Similarly, Zard Mausam was also offered to me but I refused. I believe if I had done these serials instead, I would not have created that much of an impact which was made by Fawad or Faisal Rehman. So there are no regrets, somebody had to do it eventually.
What kind of training/education do you recommend for acting?
There are so many top-notch acting schools in the world, but I do not know of any famous actor who went to such schools to get trained for acting. It is a fact that you cannot learn acting from any institute, no matter how good it is. What these schools teach is just basic knowledge about acting that polishes the natural talent and nothing else. There are so many gifted actors in our country at the moment like Sajid Hassan, Faisal Rehman, Talat Hussain, Qavi Sahab etc. All these great actors did not learn acting from any school, yet they are the best artists that our country has.
You have achieved so much over the years. Your biggest achievement so far?
My family is happy with me so I consider that as my greatest achievement. I am very happy that my family is content with me.
Who is your favourite female co-star?
There are quite a few, but those who wear less make-up and are thoroughly committed to their work are my most favourite co-stars.
What do you do in your leisure hours?
I spend time with my family, play cricket, watch movies and of course I absolutely love to spend time with my fans. So I do a lot of things in my spare time.
Once you said that Nadeem Sahab was your biggest inspiration.
When I watch him acting, I find his attention to detail really amazing. Moreover, he had this huge on-screen presence which no one else has even now. People often say that they see a reflection of Nadeem Sahab in my acting, which is a huge compliment for me.
It has become a trend nowadays to make dramas on bold and tabooed subjects. Do you think this should continue?
I think we should talk about these things, because by highlighting them we are trying to come up with solutions. Honestly speaking, Man-o-Salwa and Manay Na Yeh Dil have totally changed the overall picture of our drama industry.
You did a few films as well in the beginning of your career. Any plans of working in films in the near future?
Yes, offers are coming in. In fact, I got one offer just recently, but because my fans rely on me so much, I try my best not to disappoint them. I will do a movie eventually, however, on my own terms.
Where do you see yourself in a few years' time?
I am not an astrologer, so I cannot predict anything. God knows better, because I never plan things on my own.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
My upcoming projects are Mera Yaqeen and Mera Pehla Pyar.