LAHORE: Umer Darr , a young theatre and television actor, has some very important roles associated with his name, such as Tipu Sultan from Tygore of Mysore written by Sameer Ahmad, Ramzan from O Rungreza penned by Saji Gul, and Riaz Bakhtiar, a character developed by an important figure of Urdu Literature, Bano Qudsia. Umer Darr started his acting career around the year 2009 with a sitcom titled ‘Hum Dono’ which used to go on air on Pakistan Television.  A production of Qayyum Shahzad, it was directed by Waseem Abbas, and Darr, though not given a prominent role, remembers it as an important project, since he considers it a stepping stone in his struggle of becoming an actor. Besides, Umer Darr says that despite his blunders of forgetting the dialogues at the time of shoot, Waseem Abbas would behave in a very considerate and humble manner, enhancing Abbas’s respect in his heart and rendering him an unforgettable figure.

This acquaintance with Waseem Abbas developed through a friend, Hasnaad, whose uncle was a producer who would take Umer Darr to the set. While doing his Intermediate from Islamia College Civil Lines, Umer Darr kept doing small, unnoticeable roles on Pakistan Television.

“All of us play ‘pretend’ in our childhoods. I would perform my character with such keen an interest and in so natural a manner that my cousins would say, ‘You should be an actor’, says Umer Darr . ‘This is how people around me helped me in knowing the actor inside,” Darr said.

Despite all of this, Umer Darr’s motive was to join army but owing to the sudden increment in the merit, he ended up joining Government College on the basis of acting, with Psychology as his major subject. Darr, disappointed at the rising merits did not lose confidence in his acting talent and one day before his acting trial at GCU, gave 6 to 7 private auditions in order to practise as much as possible.

“My name was on the top of the list when the result based on dramatics was announced. I am still obliged to all those people at Government College who would give me tips and advices while I was waiting in the corridor for my audition,” Darr explained.

It happened then that Umer Darr acted in a number of plays performed at Government College’s Dramatics Club, includingShah-e-Alam, Sazayaab, Mukhtarnama and Tygore of Mysore.

About his prominent roles on television such as Abrar in Jaanisaar, Basheer in Farz, Chaudhry Wajahat in Pinjra and Ramzan in O Rungreza, the actor tells that Amirr Yusuf, who happened to be the director of Dar’s first big project on Aplus, saw him performing on stage in GCU, and called him afterwards for the play ‘Jaanisaar’. Whereas acting in Kashif Nisar’s plays like ‘Farz’ and ‘O Rungreza’ is concerned, it was while he was attending an acting training workshop headed by Kashif Nisar under the banner of Q Talent that Sohaib Idrees, a casting agent chose him for ‘Farz’.

“It was a week after a very important role of a private theatre company was snatched from me that I got the offer to act in Farz. I believe it was my dedication towards my passion which resulted in this. I give most of my time to acting. The thesis which I presented being a student of psychology was titled ‘The Persona of a Comedian’. It is due to my love for and dedication towards acting that my family which had some reservations initially admires me and supports me now. I got a job of an organizational psychologist which I refused so that I could give most of my time to acting,”

When asked about his experience of having worked with Kashif Nisar who is known for directing plays with complex characters, Darr modestly answered that he is too young yet to get such a role which can be considered psychologically intriguing, but the way Kashif Nisar makes one perform even a simple role also gets challenging, and this is what makes his works flawless. About Qavi Khan against whom Umer Darr performed in ‘Farz’, he says that the veteran actor is highly supportive and considerate, and his appreciation of his work boosted his morale and also earned him the appreciation of Hassan Niazi, another fine actor of the Pakistani drama industry.

About which field he considered as most difficult between theatre and television, he said the real thing is your interest in acting. “If you are truly interested in it and focus on it, you will easily adjust yourself with the technicalities of both the genres,” Darr said.