I opted for Aangan for my own selfish reasons: Ahad Raza Mir
Ahad Raza Mir is one of the rising stars of Pakistan; although he has done just a couple of plays and a feature film, his fan following surpasses that of many who have been in the industry for many years.
In Aangan, he continues to steal hearts with his heartbreaking performance where he romances Mawra Hocane and Sajal Aly, and it can’t get better than that for any actor.
Spotlight had a chat with the rising star regarding the experience of working with an ensemble cast, playing a lover boy in the days of Quit India Movement and what are his expectations from the play.
How was the experience of playing a lover boy in the 1940’s for a change?
I think Love is a kind of a universal thing and in its natural form doesn’t necessarily change much, despite the change in time or circumstances.
However, it was fun to go back in an era when things were drastically different from our current setting and we all took it as a challenge and hopefully the viewers will like what we did.
How difficult was it to play characters from the 1940’s considering everything was different back then, from clothes to mannerisms and even the political scenario?
Playing a character from the 1940’s was challenging because of the history of Pakistan and India. We don’t have specific references from that era; we have images of clothes, and what we know is from specific images and stories that people have told us.
It’s very rare to find video footage from that time and that makes the idea of reliability a huge challenge.
From reliability, I mean that for an audience in 2019, to be able to relate to a character that has been fictionalized by the actor is huge.
How do we make the character from 1940’s relatable to an individual in 2019, how do we in an age when everything is on social media, people have Facebook and can call each other all the time; in short the way they interact now is drastically different from the 1940’s and we tried to bridge that gap and let’s hope we succeed.
What made you go for Aangan – the novel, the director or the period setting?
Essentially as an actor, it was the challenge that made me go for the drama. To act in a time I wasn’t familiar with, speak a language I wasn’t familiar with and go through situations, circumstances and scenarios I am not familiar with is what appealed to me.
In my time as a theater actor in Canada, I have done Shakespeare set in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s while have done a lot of Western plays set in history, but I had never done something Eastern, in the time frame of Aangan.
I was very fortunate that a play like this came my way at a time when I was doing a modern-day drama that we term as contemporary.
Going back by 65 years was exciting and of course, the director and the script had a huge part to play but if you ask me, I opted for the play for my own selfish reasons.
What are expectations from Aangan?
If I am able to honestly and realistically make my character relatable to the audience, I would consider it a job well done.
It was a big challenge because essentially at the end of the day, the characters I have played are based on references and fictionalized; I don’t know anybody from the 1940’s; I have never met someone from that time from whom I can have a clear reference.
I chose to stay away from watching any video from that era because that’s how I work, otherwise, it might influence me as an artist. We have given it our best and let’s hope that the audience likes it when they see it.