The character in Daasi pulled me back towards TV: Adeel Husain
Adeel Husain needs no introduction; the talented actor has many hit TV dramas and films to his name during the last few years.
However, since Jackson Heights in 2014, he has been missing in action on the smaller screen, working exclusively in films. With Daasi, he has made a comeback on TV and has been winning new fans in a play that also features Mawra Hocane, Faryal Mehmood, Fazila Kazi, and others.
Spotlight got hold of the talented actor and asked him why he took so much time to return to TV, what compelled him to do the drama and where does he see himself in life, career, and TV.
Any actor would have stuck to TV had he done a project like Jackson Heights. However, you chose to venture new heights after that and only returned to TV after 5 years. Why?
After Jackson Heights, I faced a new horizon. Because it had so many amazing people behind it – with Mehreen Jabbar directing, Vasay Chaudhry writing and Nausheen Dadabhoy as the Director of Photography – it was like a dream come true.
The character progression, the ensemble cast raised my expectations of TV by a big margin. Following Jackson, I was on a high leading into my two films. It wasn’t that I left TV; I was more inclined towards film work post-Ho Mann Jahaan first and Dobara Phir Se.
I was always open to good roles on TV, but I feel they come your way only when the director has time to discuss the character, the arc, and the progression. Get a feel of what one is trying to make.
The importance of TV stood out further as I saw that cinematic innovation has its own challenges, whereas TV is now experimenting little more. I was a bit nervous about doing TV again, but Daasi has been a journey of conquering some of that.
Why did you choose Daasi over the other projects you were offered during that time?
There was something in the story, in the character that attracted me towards the play. The character Aahil had something in common with me – both were finding new centers and navigating a different set of challenges, searching for a direction and that’s why I chose to play it.
Then Mawra came on board and we felt that something charming could come up with our combination. It was an intersection of two emotional spaces with her Sunehri being carefree and my Aahil being a little more serious and weighty. The contrast of moods clicked and I am sure that the audience has had as much fun as we did playing the characters.
Talking of Mawra, she said that she chose the drama just to share the screen with you. How will you rate the experience?
I am very happy to know that Mawra was excited about it. I have always wanted to be part of projects where I meet good hard-working people who understand the dynamics of the work. With Mawra as my co-star, Mohsin Talat as director and so many hardworking actors on the set, I felt great.
Mohsin has been open to the collaborative experience. The hunger in me to return to the TV screen had developed and when that happens, you want to do new and different work, something that challenges you as an actor.
We are living in interesting times where there is both pressure and the chance to do something new at the same time. Also, sharing the screen with so many wonderful actors was exactly how I hoped to return to TV.
Daasi features both an action sequence and a song and dance sequence, how was that experience?
The director has taken an aesthetical license, merging reality and fantasy but it looks good, embedded in the plot. Both the action scene and the little roof moments were a requirement for the story so we went ahead and had a blast. It is a director’s medium and the way Mohsin handled it was commendable.
What’s next on your plate after Daasi?
When I am not acting, I am busy with my laptop; developing a few ideas with friends. Let’s see how it goes because, in order to steer a project a certain way, I will have to balance my acting requirements with this desire to work in the capacity of an executive producer.
I have written a couple of tight scripts that can either be executed as a mini-series or a film. That’s why I am on the lookout for a good team that is as enthusiastic as I am. It’s about time that we put our best foot forward for the world to experience the innovations in Pakistani storytelling.
And till when do you plan to stay an eligible bachelor?
Right now I am in a good place, surrounded by incredible people. My father used to say that one should get married at 32 but at 34, I found myself discovering myself as a person and time passed. I have no regrets.
I am hoping that things will head in the right direction and I would end up making the right decisions, both personally and professionally.