‘Loud acting is easier than calm and understated one,’ Asim Azhar talks about Pagli and experience as an actor

Spotlight   December 22, 2017
"I didn’t like the character in the beginning," Asim Azhar

Asim Azhar is stealing everyone’s hearts in the drama serial “Pagli” where he plays the impetuous but mostly lovable love interest of Gulrukh (Hira Mani) and also Zubi (Hina Altaf).


Najam, played beautifully by Asim Azhar, is a young man struggling with independence and belligerence. This is Asim’s television screen debut and we have all known and loved him for his songs and musical abilities.


Spotlight caught up with him about his role in Pagli and experience as an actor:


Your role in Pagli is quite fun, did you have as much fun in playing Najam as we did in watching it?


Yes, I definitely did. I must give a shout out to Mahmood Aslam Sahab with whom I’ve had most of my scenes with. Helped me a lot, gave me a lot of advice, obviously the whole atmosphere on the set is very fun. A lot of food is involved. When you’re fed good food, you’re in a happy mood.


There’s a lot of Urdu banter. Did you watch a lot of old Urdu plays?


By roots I’m a Punjabi but I was born and raised in Karachi. So that’s why my Urdu has always been very clear. I was always very good at the subject. I kind of just gave it a shot in the beginning.


I told my director that let me try my hand at it first. If you see any room for improvement, let me know. But Ali Bhai (the director) told me that it was going well. I went with the flow. They asked me, “Do you need it in Roman?” And I was like, “WHAT, do people do that?”


Tell us some fun tidbits about shooting for Pagli:


Me, Hira and Hina are the active ones on the set. We’re always on the go. Usually we go live from the set and all. There’s a lot of gossip. (Which I’m not a part of!) The most fun part is when we’re ordering food. Our director Ali Masood used to eat this ice cream at exactly 8 pm and he would eat it punctually every day!


Was it difficult to do the physical comedy?


I always think physical and loud acting is easier than calm and understated one. The physicality and loudness speak for you. But when you have to speak from your eyes, that’s more difficult.


Any favorite dialogs?

“Kyuun dekhti ho tum aaina
Tum toh khud se bhi zyaada khoobsoorat ho.”


What’s the best and worst thing about Najam?

“He’s very impatient, he’s very emotional in bad and good ways. He cannot hear anything against him. He cannot hear anyone telling him that he’s wrong. If he does, he’ll just stand up and say, “So what?” He’s got a lot of blame avoidance and he is always ready to defend himself. He will always throw it back to someone else.


I didn’t like the character in the beginning. But that’s what my aim was – to get people liking someone who they couldn’t like at first. But the good thing is that he is expressive and innocent. I would rather pick someone who is expressing his emotions than someone who is a snake and hurts you in other ways.


Pagli airs on Mondays at 8 pm on Hum TV Network.