Feroze Khan, who essays the role of Mir Hadi in upcoming drama serial Khaani, talks about his character who’s a rich and spoilt brat of a politician’s son, who muscles his way around things until he falls in love with an adversary’s daughter.
Feroze Khan’s energy is infectious. He drives in on his new bike, a little after 9:30pm, and is in ‘Romeo’ mode, as he puts it. He’s taken out some time in his busy schedule to come straight from location for this interview, after which he’ll be hitting the gym for an almost-midnight work-out. Turning in without completing his daily regime at the gym is unthinkable, he laughs, when asked about the logic of exercising so late.
Over to work, Feroze is working on Romeo Weds Heer these days but it’s drama serial Khaani that is in the news right now. Making a debut tomorrow on GEO, Khaani features Feroze Khan and Sana Javed in lead roles and is directed by Anjum Shehzad. Feroze essays the role of Mir Hadi, the rich and spoilt brat of a politician’s son, who muscles his way around things until he falls in love with an adversary’s daughter. It’s a romance with politics and power play at its core.
We get straight down to the interview…
Instep: This is your first play after Woh Aik Pal, but your big breakthrough was Gul-e-Rana. What are your expectations from Khaani?
Feroze Khan (FK): I never expect anything. Even with Gul-e-Rana I was never sure that it would touch the heights that it did. Woh Aik Pal didn’t do so well in Pakistan but internationally it really went well. But I think I’ve worked the hardest in Khaani so far. And I’m just expecting that people or my viewers and audience are going to love it and appreciate it.
Instep: What is Khaani’s USP? What do you think is the thing that people will love?
FK: For me the attraction is that I wanted to experience what the life of a powerful man in Pakistan is like. Where their lives would turn or how they work things around and how everything is in their control, on the table or under the table; everything is sorted the way they want it. I did it because of that, there’s no message that I would want people to get out of it, it’s sheer performance. Acting is my passion; I do it because I love doing it. If I want to give someone a message, I would rather tweet about it or go live or do an interview about that particular issue. Khaani is just the performance; it’s just acting and a different kind of acting, that’s it.
Instep: This is a role that’s different from anything you’ve ever done before…
FK: For sure. I’ve never been this fierce on TV, or in a character. Adeel Kamal (of Gul-e-Rana) was never angry, he was never dangerous. Arish (in Woh Aik Pal) was also a weakling, a completely whiny, weepy character.
Instep: What part of this character can you relate to?
FK: Honestly nothing and I don’t even want to relate to that character ever. For me, playing such a difficult character takes a lot, you need to go and feel the deepest layers of that character and then play it. Any scene that would make anyone sit on the edge of their seats, you know it takes a lot to feel it. And you know it was really tiring for me. It took me some time to get out of it and thank God, I am now doing Romeo Weds Heer, which is lighthearted and romantic.
Instep: Was there anybody in particular that inspired your character?
FK: No, I wanted Mir Hadi to be original. He was created by me and obviously the driving force was Anjum Shehzad’s direction.
Instep: You speak very highly of Anjum Shehzad; is there a particular reason why you’re so loyal to him?
FK: I think we’re in a relationship! [laughs] I think it’s not just Anjum Shehzad but it’s also 7th Sky Entertainment. We have made this fabulous team of people – Abdullah bhai, Asad bhai, Anjum bhai and myself; we have come to that point where we literally understand each other so much that it’s easy to do something, to create something. I love the kind of backing they’ve offered me.
Instep: Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai was an Anjum Shehzad film as well but didn’t do as well as expected, did it?
FK: Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai made over 10 crore, which not many films do and it survived in the cinemas. For me it’s my debut film and I love it and I’m very happy with what the results were. There are big films that don’t last the weekend. We were in the cinemas for months and we made over 10 crores. I think we’ve done it!
Instep: Gul–e–Rana and ZKHH turned out to be as much, or more, about your co-star, Sajal. Do you think Khaani will be your landmark play?
FK: I don’t like doing something and then screaming about it myself. I’m loving the feedback I’m getting…the noise on the Internet is already insane…Alhumdulillah!
Instep: Do you ever feel that you were equally integral to Gul-e-Rana and ZKHH but Sajal walked away with the limelight?
FK: No, I would never say that because I think both of us together made it Gul e Rana. I can never say that it was me or it was her, it was both of us and I think she did a fabulous job. She’s a great actress.
Instep: And now Sana Javed is your next on-screen heroine, with whom you’re doing three different projects. Do you feel the chemistry between you and Sana will be just as strong?
FK: I do think there’s great chemistry between us but I’ll let the audience be the judge of that.
Instep: And have you signed your next film yet?
FK: There are a couple of films that I’m looking at. There are three scripts that I really like, for next year 2018. I don’t want to say anything more than that and will reveal the information when it happens. But they’re all really good directors and producers, so I’m happy that something good is going to come out at the end of the day.
Instep: Any remorse that if things had been good with India you would have been making a Bollywood debut in Veerey di Wedding?
FK: 100 per cent! Why not? I want to just work, I want to go and work in Bangladesh if there are people who are welcoming and passionate and who want to create something with me. I’d be happy to work in Bangladesh, India, Hollywood, Tamil movies, anything.
Instep: What is your take on social media these days? A lot of people feel that social media sensations usually don’t have the work to back it up…can you call a social media icon a true star?
FK: I think followers can be bought, but fans can’t. I have fans, I’ve never bought any followers on any social media platform. But I’m the kind of actor whose looking for longevity, at a 50 year-old career. I don’t want to be right now, on social media with 1000 comments under my picture and 56,000 likes or 3 million followers just for the heck of it. I want those people to be standing outside my house when it’s my birthday, just for the kind of legend I want to to be and I will be. Social media icons don’t last that long.
Instep: Who amongst actors today can you look at and call legendary?
FK: Fawad Khan’s work is legendary. I’m not saying this because he’s a big star but because I feel he he works so hard on his scenes and you can see that. Other than that I feel there are a lot of legends; Humayun Saeed is a legend. Shaan is a legend.
Instep: Back to Khaani, do you think it’ll be a legendary play?
FK: I think Khaani is a dream that is about to come true. It’s going to definitely be a different kind of noise. You’ll know the difference in the very first episode’s very first scene.