From boy next door to ultimate bad boy, Ahsan Khan has become a household name after his breakout role in Udaari. I caught up with the talented young actor to see how this career high has changed his life:
AFTER THE PHENOMENAL SUCCESS OF UDAARI, YOU’VE RECEIVED BOTH CRITICAL ACCLAIM AS WELL AS BACKLASH FROM THE FANS FOR YOUR ROLE. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
It completely shocked me to see how many people appreciated my work, as much as they hated my character! It was a game-changer moment in my career, and dealing with both the positive and negative response from it is all part of the job. People hated my character for being a child molester, but simultaneously loved me as an individual for bringing light to such a cause. In an industry full of stereotypical characters, Imtiaz has gone on to become truly iconic, to the point where my fans quote back the dialogues to me!
RUMOUR HAS IT, MANY A-LIST STARS WERE APPROACHED FOR THIS ROLE AND REJECTED IT, YET YOU WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE IT ON. WHY TAKE THE RISK?
This is news to me! When Momina Duraid initially called me for this role, I was told that she had me in mind when the character was written. Unfortunately, I was shooting for her other serial, Saya Dewar, at the time and couldn’t lock in the dates for Udaari. Other actors were approached, who all turned down the role in fear of losing their “hero image”. When Momina approached me again, I couldn’t say no because I love and respect her so much! Saya Dewar was halted for production until Udaari was complete, and the rest, as they say, is history! I was reluctant in taking the role and a lot of thought was put into it, as well as advice from my colleagues and of course my wife. I’m so glad that I did, and in turn raised awareness for such a sensitive and taboo topic in our society.
FROM INTERNATIONAL FAME TO A HOUSEHOLD NAME, EVERYONE LOVES TO HATE IMTIAZ. WHAT’S THE MEANEST THING A FAN HAS EVER SAID TO YOU POST UDAARI?
It felt amazing to get so much fan following internationally! It’s not just me, but all of our actors have gathered the adoration and love of their fans from all over the world. Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve ever been given a nasty comment or a negative review from any fan. I’m blessed in that way.
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THIS, BUT YOU SING AS WELL. HOW’S THAT SIDE OF YOUR CAREER GOING?
Singing is more of a hobby than a career choice for me. It lets me express myself in a different way, and I do it in my free time. But acting is, and will always be, my first love!
TELL US THREE THINGS THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU:
People tend to know everything about me. If they don’t know, then I’d like to leave those three things unknown.
YOU’VE BEEN MARRIED FOR SOME TIME NOW. BE HONEST, HOW DOES YOUR WIFE DEAL WITH YOU WORKING WITH SUCH GORGEOUS WOMEN ON A DAILY BASIS?
I’ve been a happily married man for ten years now. We had a love marriage and she knows she’s got nothing to worry about. She has always been, and will always be, the woman for me! My wife and three beautiful children are my life’s main priority.
NAME ONE THING YOU HAVE THAT OTHER ACTORS DON’T:
Every human has a certain kind of talent, and every actor in the field has their own niche. I think it’s very strange to compare oneself to another. No-one can be me, and in turn, I can’t be like anybody.
RANK, IN ORDER OF ACTING ABILITY, MAHIRA KHAN, SABA QAMAR, URWA HOCANE AND HUMAIMA MALICK. THEN, SHEHNAZ SHEIKH, MARINA KHAN, SABA HAMEED AND BUSHRA ANSARI:
Mahira Khan and Saba Qamar come first, as it’s a tie for me! Then Urwa, and finally Humaima. When it comes to our more senior actors, it would have to be Bushra Ansari, Saba, Shehnaz and Marina.
OUT OF MAWRA HOCANE, SAJAL ALI AND SONYA HUSSAIN, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO A ROMANTIC ROLE WITH?
Having worked with Sajal previously, I’ve got to say she’s a fabulous actress, and I feel we share great on-screen chemistry.
WHO IS THE FIRST PERSON FROM THE INDUSTRY THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND WHEN I SAY THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:
MAMA’S BOY? Javed Sheikh! FASHION DIVA? Nabila. GOSSIP QUEEN? All the morning show hosts!
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS?
Amir Adnan and HSY.
WOMEN FIND AHSAN KHAN SEXY BECAUSE…
Of my boyish good looks, of course! Haha.
BETWEEN MEHWISH HAYAT, MEERA JEE AND SAJAL ALI, WHO WOULD YOU HOOK UP WITH, MARRY AND BLOCK?
I guess I would hook up with Mehwish Hayat, marry Sajal Ali, and block Meera Jee.
YOU’RE KNOWN FOR DOING A LOT OF HUMANITARIAN WORK. WHERE DID THE IDEA OF YOUR “WALL OF KINDNESS” IN KARACHI COME FROM?
The “Wall of Kindness” was inspired by the anonymous Iranian individual who started a basic concept of having a small wall where people could donate items for those less fortunate. The “Diwar-e-Mehrbani” is a simple concept summed up in two sentences: ‘Leave if you do not need’ and ‘take if you need.’ Bringing it to Pakistan seemed like the obvious thing to do, especially when we have so many possessions that we take for granted. I’ve also joined Rungrez’s latest cause in support of women empowerment. Together, we aim to provide numerous jobs for the women in our society who suffer on a daily basis, and help make them independent. Additionally, I’m a part of the Rizq Foundation, which is basically a concept started up by LUMS students to provide food for the homeless. All these causes are dear to me, and I hope to be a part of many more in the future.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING RUMOUR YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT YOURSELF?
That I’m the highest paid actor of the industry! I would love to see that one come true though, haha.
NAME ONE THING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY THAT PUZZLES YOU:
That people are completely different to your face, but as soon as you turn away, they’ll talk about you to no end. I don’t think that’s specific to just the industry though
TELL US SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT YOUR CO-STARS:
Saba Qamar is such a brilliant actress that when I act opposite her she brings out the best acting skills in me, so that’s definitely a good thing. In terms of bad habits, Ayesha Khan is a great actress but she’s a little kanjoos when it comes to giving me cues, and I always tease her about this! Don’t get me wrong though, I love working with her.