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Introducing the rising star

Ahad Raza Mir talks to Instep about his debut on television and the challenges he has to face to convince people that there’s more to him than his surname

Introducing the rising star

Ahad Raza Mir – son of ace actor Asif Raza Mir – is a charming addition to the list of new-age Pakistani artists. He is not the first star kid to make a breakthrough in Pakistan but he is one (unlike many others) who is successfully standing on his own steam as opposed to leveraging his father’s popularity. Having trained in theatre in Canada for several years, Ahad returned as an experienced actor with the skill set to make his own place. His character in his debut play Sammi has already picked up fans.

Did he always want to be an actor?

“Yes 100 per cent. There has never been any other thought in my mind,” Ahad said in an exclusive interview with Instep.

Ahad is currently in Karachi, filming his upcoming Air Force film Parwaaz Hai Junoon (that also features Hamza Ali Abbasi and Hania Amir) while he is simultaneously shooting for an upcoming TV serial, Wo Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar opposite Sajal Aly, the teasers for which have started coming out. We caught up with the actor to talk about his experience with the industry so far and his upcoming projects.

“I feel very proud to be accepted in the local industry,” Ahad shared. “I know there is ‘Raza Mir’ attached to my name but I hope that people recognize me for my work, what I do and what I have to offer – that’s my goal, my first goal for this year. It’s true that I am an actor’s son and sometimes things are offered to you on a silver platter but for me this is not how it was. I love film and television and this has been a passion for me since I was very young. I have received training for six years and have worked professionally for two years outside Pakistan (Canada) and there it had nothing to do with my father. And the projects that I have taken up here, I have pushed for them myself. I love this country and I want to be a part of this industry. I have no plan to go back to Canada.”

Having done his BFA (Bachelors of Fine Arts) in acting directing and playwriting, it was always Ahad’s goal to become an actor. After completing his graduation, he performed in 26 professional productions in Canada and also won the critics award for Best Actor in a Musical, just last year. “I was the first desi to win it. It was a proud moment for me, being a Pakistani,” Ahad expressed.

While his character is of a simple, compassionate guy in Sammi, Ahad plays the role of a hot headed cadet in Parwaaz Hai Junoon. He’s quick to point out that he’s not hot headed in real life and relates better to his character in the upcoming serial Wo Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar.

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BTS image: Ahad Raza Mir on the set of Air Force film Parwaaz Hai Junoon in which he essays the role of a hot headed cadet.

“He is famous as Dr Asfand Yar,” the actor revealed. “He’s a fun, happy go lucky kind of a guy who jokes around a lot. But that’s one side of the character that people get to see at first. There’s another aspect to his character that the audience will eventually be introduced to in the play.”

Ahad also felt that he’s lucky to be associated with three big projects at the same time that allow him to showcase his acting skills in different capacities. He said, “People will get to see me in different colours since my role in all three projects is very different from each other – there’s a bit of variety.”

On the cast of Sammi as the charming and empathetic Salaar, on which the actor has received good reviews so far, Ahad says he does feel intimidated at times; it can get intimidating to work alongside veterans such as Sania Saeed. “It’s such a small and open industry where people welcome you with open arms but there’s an intimidation factor since I am new here. I am obviously panicking while doing a scene with Sania Saeed. But then I say to myself, ‘there’s a reason you are here’.”

Ahad also spoke about how different it is to be an actor today compared to the times his father Asif Raza Mir started off. “I believe it has become more challenging to create an impression on the audience now,” he noted. “Back then there was only one channel and there were few actors. People used to wait for that one TV play the entire week. Now there are so many channels and actors that they get overwhelmed with all of this and it becomes difficult for viewers to choose their pick. There’s a strong competition for actors these days; you have to act, sing, dance and look good – all at the same time to get considered.  You can be replaced in a second if you don’t have anything that sets you apart from others.”

Speaking about the importance of social media to connect with fans in this day and age, he stated that he has observed that one has to be a bit more active on social media if he’s part of the local entertainment industry.

“I’m struggling with it,” he admitted. “I have noticed that the Pakistani audience is different from the one I saw abroad. If they are your fans, they really want to be updated with what you’re up to and want to connect to you. And I feel they are the people who we are working for so they deserve to be informed.”

Sharing his first selfie experience with a fan he said, “Recently someone came up to me for the first time and asked for a selfie. I got awkward. I’ve seen it my whole life with baba whenever we go somewhere but it happened to me and I didn’t know how to react to it.”

Concluding with Ahad’s acting assignments Ahad informed us that he’ll soon start working on two films with his father – a comedy and a love story. We are eager to see more of this talented young actor in the future!

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