'I never think before I act'

HEARtTHROB

'I never think before I act'

As his lips widen into a charming smile brightening his face, he says, “Fawad means ‘heart’,” answering a query on the meaning of his very famous name!

He is embarrassed to answer that question but within minutes one realises why Fawad Afzal Khan has made his place in millions of hearts worldwide, at least in the hearts of his female fans.

“God, I don’t know! But to be honest I never believed that a name has an influence on one’s character. May be you are right. But I would like to think that as a ‘no’,” he smiles again adding, “I have lied well enough as an actor to convince people and to prove myself. And I appreciate that they have accepted me.”

His assistant informs him of his low sugar level and he starts sipping orange juice as Metrolife speaks to him about the female fan following he has gained in India due to his good (read killer) looks.

“The truth is that people like to watch beautiful people cry on stage. I don’t consider myself beautiful in any way whatsoever, physically. May be I have pushed the envelope and broken the clutter by having done something different to outdo so many beautiful people out there,” he makes his point, choosing instead to be known as a ‘good actor’ though admitting that “for business it’s good to be good looking.”

This isn’t surprising given that Khan has made sensible choices and emphasised more on quality.His television debut was an “absurdly comic role” followed by his film debut with Khuda Kay Liye (in an extremely serious character).

So, what compelled him to play prince charming in his first mainstream Hindi movie?
“I never think before I act. I try to observe and learn as much as I can. I have only done a limited number of projects in the past 14 years of my career and tried to push the boundaries every time. Khuda... was my first acting stint. Be it Jutt and Bond, Humsafar or Zindagi Gulzar Hai, I am very grateful to whatever positive the audience has to say about it. But I don’t see myself having done something great as yet. It’s all been part of my learning process,” he says.

The actor admits that through these different works on television “I was just trying to loosen myself in front of the camera and learn the craft. Every time I move to a new project it’s a culmination of all that I have learnt in the past. I try to fuse it a little bit from here and there. Now, having done Khoobsurat I think it’s just another culmination.”

Perhaps that is true for him as an actor, but one cannot dismiss his music, modelling and acting credentials that define him as an ‘international star’ and not just a ‘Pakistani actor’.

“Life presents you with certain options and you have to make the best of it. Whatever your circumstances – good or bad. I’m not saying that being in the Pakistani industry is good, bad or has limited me in any way. I feel it has presented a lot of advantages. When I entered the industry it was easier to penetrate. As an actor, a musician, there were not many challenges and in a way it gave me a chance to access a global platform. Many people don’t know, but I even auditioned for a small Hollywood film for a lead role at one time and I was refused, because I wasn’t good enough!”

Who can believe that Khan, whose entry in Bollywood is making waves today, has
also gone through a phase of rejection? 

“To be honest even I have that insecurity of losing my charisma because I don’t have a backup plan. This (acting) is all I know. I left the industry very disappointed, three times. I have quit once, come back, worked, quit again and come back for a third time and started again from scratch.”

During the time when he left the industry, he gave interviews at 30 odd jobs but did not get even one. “Not even as a cultural programmer at the British Council or an executive at multinationals! I tried everything under the sun. Finally, I decided to give acting another shot. The only reason I kept quitting was – I was disappointed with people’s attitude. Then I learnt over the years that you have to bury that idealism and move on.”

And what a comeback!
Maybe, he is born only to win hearts through his acting.

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