I want to work with Robert Downey Jr and Martin Scorsese: Haris Waheed

DUBAI: When a television project becomes successful, the obvious casting option is to pick the same actors again for similar roles. It can be fairly easy to be slated as the actor who only does a particular kind of role, regardless of their talent.

Haris Waheed, the boy who broke Urwa Hocane’s heart in Udaari and the brother who wanted to kill his onscreen sister Mawra Hocane in Sammi, spoke to The Express Tribune about being typecasted, acting in front of a live audience and getting married to fellow Udaari actor Maryam Fatima.


ET: Your role in Udaari was inherently negative, so was the role in Sammi. Are you now afraid of being typecasted?

HW: That’s true, I was sort of typecasted. I wasn’t scared of it though. Many similar roles came my way but I said no to most. I even was offered the role of Qandeel Baloch’s brother in Baaghi, which I was supposed to do but Sammi was doing really well at the same time, so I couldn’t.

But yes, typecasting happens a lot. It happens everywhere but it’s not a big deal since I’m doing all kinds of different work now.

ET: How did you get into the mind of an honour-killer for your role in Sammi.

HW: I used to feel emotionally and mentally sick after I did those scenes. I don’t know how I got into that mindset. When I was offered Sammi, there were many honour killing occurrences which I went on to research.

I specifically remember in one Sammi scene, we were shooting in a police station in Bahawulpur but we had had some issues so shooting was delayed. I spoke to the Station Head Officer and asked him to lock me up.

When I went inside, the others thought I was a prisoner too because I was in costume. I spent about an hour and a half in the lockup talking to them. Everyone was ‘normal’ but what they had done was pretty dangerous.

I hadn’t gone in there with the idea that I’d pick up anything – I just wanted to speak to them. But I guess I did pick some things up. After all, I had surrounded myself with people who shared Waqas Jutt’s thoughts.

In theatre, I sometimes feel that you have this responsibility of delivering to every single person in the audience, including those sitting right at the back. For that, you need to project more; you need to be louder and have a certain kind of body language. There are definite rules which I don’t really like, personally.

However, I have an immense amount of respect for people who do theatre. I prefer television because it’s more open – you can shoot anywhere whereas in theatre you are limited to a building.

ET: What is your opinion on the Pakistani film industry at the moment? And do you have any films in the pipeline?

HW: I was working on a film a while ago but that has been delayed for the time being. I haven’t seen a lot of Pakistani films recently – only seen Verna and Punjab Nahi Jaungi.

Nonetheless, I think we are growing. Everyone is making films and that’s the best part because it will shape up and we’ll find the space. When I started acting, there were no films being made. I remember when I was a student, I used to say, “I’ll go to Hollywood or Bollywood” but now that there are Pakistani films in the works, people can aspire to work in our film industry.

We all know that the Pakistani film industry needs to up its game and I am confident that we will. We’ll do it. The only thing I’m worried about is that we can end up being Bollywood’s poor cousins and I don’t want that. Although we love their films, we should find realities in our own culture and own crises.

ET: What are your upcoming TV projects?

HW: I’m currently shooting for Gughi – a partition play. It’s written by Amna Mufti and directed by Iqbal Hussain, based on the Bollywood film Pinjar. I don’t think anyone has worked on a canvas of this magnitude – I play a ‘good’ brother this time. I have two more projects after Gughi.

ET: Who would you like to work with? Describe your dream project.

HW: I really want to work with Robert Downey Jr and I know that one day I will… under the direction of Martin Scorsese. I want the film to be about a drama teacher who has a student that’s really bad at acting. I’d be that student – I really want to play a bad actor onscreen. I want the film to be titled Bad Acting and I even have the script in my mind! I want people to know what bad acting is.

ET: Who are your favourite actors within the Pakistani film industry at the moment?

HW: Noman Ijaz and Saba Qamar.

ET: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?

HW: I’ve recently gotten married and yes, it’s a lot of responsibility but life is amazing. I wasn’t aware that marriage brings this much responsibility. 2017 has really separated the ‘boy’ from me and made me a ‘man’.

In ten years’ time, I see myself completely settled – emotionally and financially, doing great projects as an actor and other areas of my life. After spending so much time with my beautiful wife, I’ve started to see that it’s really important to do something meaningful with your life.

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.

More in Life & Style

Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1597720/4-want-work-robert-downey-jr-martin-scorsese-haris-waheed/