Aangan was as much fun to do as it was challenging: Ahsan Khan
They were together in Preet Na Kariyo Koi and joined hands for Udaari and now the dynamic duo of Ahsan Khan (actor) and Ehteshamuddin (director) are back with another drama from MD Productions.
While there last two plays were more current, this time they decided to go back in time and adopt a classic Khadija Mastoor novel Aangan to give the audience something different. Ahsan Khan, who plays two roles in Aangan, is quite confident that the drama will do well since it has an ensemble cast, a brilliant script and above all, features him in a first-time double role. Excerpts:
How was the experience of playing a double role on TV?
It was a challenging experience to say the least as I had to play two generations – first the father and then the son.
Since they both belonged to different eras and were to have different looks, it was fun as well as I hadn’t done anything like that before. Yes, both the characters don’t meet onscreen but they had to look apart and that’s a challenge I didn’t want to miss.
How difficult was it to play characters from 1920 and 1940, considering you usually play modern characters in films and on TV?
My characters in Aangan are different from my other dramas where I play twisted characters; here the characters are simple and romantic and it was fun to play someone like that.
When you are playing someone else, the atmosphere, the costumes, the dialogues, the hairstyle and even the way you speak it all helps; when you play a twisted person, then it’s difficult as it was in Udaari. It’s my belief that when you understand the psyche of the character, it always helps and that’s what happened to me in Aangan.
You seem to have multiple heroines in the drama…
Aaaaaah (Laughs). Since I play two characters in two different eras, I seem to have two heroines each, meaning 4 leading ladies. As now it’s quite open but you will get to see that in coming episodes.
You are sharing the screen with some of the best actors in the industry, how would you rate that experience?
You have no idea how great a learning experience it was to share the screen with legendary actors like Zeb Rehman and Abid Ali. We tend to forget our seniors during promotions but trust me, you can’t miss them in the play.
They are one of the finest actors our industry has produced and we need to give them more respect for they spent years and years to reach this place. They are acting institutions and we can learn a lot from them, the way they act, deliver dialogues and perform onscreen taught me a lot and I am sure was helpful to others as well.
What made you go for Aangan – the novel, the director or the double role?
It was a bit of all – Ehtesham’s direction, Khadija Mastoor’s novel, Mustafa Afridi’s lines, and Momina Bhabi’s productions.
I also loved the two characters and found it tempting, although the audience loves it when I play different, twisted characters which weren’t what I was doing here. I so wanted to be part of this play because plays like Aangan are produced once in a blue moon.
You do realize that you are the only lead actor common in Aangan and Dastaan. What do you have to say about that?
I am glad I was part of Dastaan and now Aangan as these are the kind of plays that have repeat value and are made in decades. I also love the feel of period plays where you have the margin to perform and outshine.
They are much better than the drawing room dramas that we do despite knowing that they aren’t going to be dubbed as classics. Momina Duraid Productions must be credited for going for something out of the ordinary and trust me, people will remember this play for a long time because of that.
What are your expectations of Aangan?
I am one of those actors who doesn’t believe in over expecting and love to keep it low profile, all the time. With Aangan, Hum TV has created a hype which is a good thing but because of the hype, you tend to lose the surprise element.
I know we worked hard in the drama and that’s enough reason for us to feel proud of it. I am so glad that people are loving it and praising the acting, the writing and the direction for being different than run-of-the-mill-stuff.