By: Jaffar Abbas Zaidi
Equally renowned for his charismatic looks and acting skills, Hamza Ali Abbasi is new heartthrob of industry. After joining the police services, he turned towards acting and film making. What many see as a dream job, Hamza left that for acting. However he again wore his tunic when he was cast to play the role of a police officer in the biggest Pakistani blockbuster ‘’WAAR.’’ He also featured as a fast bowler in Hummayun Saeed’s ‘’Main Hoon Shahid Afridi.’’ Charming and shy, bright and humble, handsome and talented, Hamza has a complete ‘wow’ factor in his personality. He proved his mettle in film making too. His short film ‘’Mud house and the Golden Doll’’ brought many applause for him. Sunday Plus had a conversation with star about his experiences in life and career. Let’s see what he has to say about himself, which has never been explored before.
Q: Tell us about your journey in entertainment industry. Did you always want to be an actor or did you have some other ambitions as a child?
Hamza: I was just a theatre and mini-screen actor before Humayyun Saeed signed me for his film ‘’Main Hoon Shahid Afridi.’’ Since my childhood, I always had passion for acting and film making. Although I never wanted to be a stagnant actor, making films was my ambition. I never say no to the work. I have struggled a lot for being a prominent face in this industry. I didn’t have money or projects. My journey has mainly been about a battle of survival in the industry.
Q: You are an actor, model and a film maker. How has been the experience of working in all these fields?
Hamza: I had an excellent experience of working in these fields. I think I have modest looks and I have never considered myself a model. For a successful model you need to walk on the ramp and you have to do different shoots. I haven’t tried much to be a successful model. Now if I talk about acting and film making, then it has always been my passion. Working in these fields has been a rewarding experience.
Q: You started your career as a theatre actor. What did you enjoy the most, acting in theatres or TV?
Hamza: I guess there is a big difference in both fields. Working for theatre is like everyone is watching you and giving you feedback on the spot and working for TV is something like that you have done a serial and people will remember you after that and then you will get to know how you have worked. I guess I always enjoyed working for screen more.
Q: We have heard that you were also working as a civil service officer. Is this true?
Hamza: Yes it is true that I have worked as a civil service officer. I have done CSS and I was doing job in Police group. I resigned from my job just because for my passion. This was the only reason that my mother has not been talking to me properly since the day I left my job from Police group.
Q: How much your family supported you for your career?
Hamza: My family has always been a great support especially my father and my sister who motivated me a lot. My father always said, ‘Be the best at whatever you do.’ As for my mother, she has not talked to me properly since the day I left my job as a police officer. I have never stood up to my mother for anything but I guess this was something I had to do.
Q: You have directed a film ‘’Mudhouse and the Golden Doll.’’ Where did all that start? From where did you get the idea of that film?
Hamza: ‘’Mudhouse and the Golden Doll’’ is very close to the reality. It is a short film that is based on the life of a mad man. In my childhood in Multan I saw this man in the streets a lot. My mother knew his mother somehow. And I have always been a curious person. So I asked different people and got to know about his story and I went abroad with this idea of film making.
Q: Share the experience of making this film.
Hamza: It was a learning platform for me as I didn’t have any background in film making, and I couldn’t wait for five more years to have a degree in this field. It was the quickest and simplest way to learn about camera technicality. Bilal Lashari and Sayyan helped me in grasping control the technical side.
Q: What were the most memorable moments of the project? What challenges you had to face?
Hamza: As I didn’t have any background in making films. So I had to face many challenges. While working for my first project every moment was a good memory for me because I have learnt many things from this.
Q: Do you intend to direct more films
Hamza: Obviously, yes. My fans will be seeing more projects from me. One day we will make films and the whole world will buy the tickets for watching our movies.
Q: Now the film industry of Pakistan has picked up a significant pace. Do you think that we are working towards a revival?
Hamza: Yes of course we are moving towards the revival of cinema. We are working hard for making our film industry better. I will advise the audiences to not to purchase DVDs. Instead they must get a ticket of the show and watch the movie in cinema. Appreciate the team for their efforts. It will be a great support for the film makers if you give your feedback. Many filmmakers are already working hard and giving their best for the revival of Pakistani cinema.
Q: Talking about ‘WAAR,’ how was your experience of working with Bilal Lashari and how was your collaboration with Ayesha Khan and other co-stars?
Hamza: Working for this project with Bilal Lashari was a good experience. We can’t describe this man in words. You can say Bilal is self motivated. He will always do the thing which he has decided to do. He will give his best and do it in a proper way. He has worked very hard on ‘WAAR’ for making it the best for the audiences. Working with Ayesha Khan and other co-stars was a good experience. It was a learning process for me. I have learnt many things from them. Ayesha Khan and Shaan are inspirational figures for me in the acting field.
Q: Who is your inspiration in career?
Hamza: I can’t say that any one person has inspired me. Every person who works hard and ever senior who has made place in industry by putting effort, is my inspiration. I always get inspired by my seniors.
Q: What is your work philosophy and what is your criterion of selecting any new project?
Hamza: Its’ my advice; don’t consider acting as an easy job. It is a full time job that requires hard work, devotion and commitment. I am determined to explore my diversity as an actor. Whenever someone asks me to work for a project, I always say yes I am ready for it. Tell me when do we have to start.
Q: While working on a set with which co-star you were most comfortable with?
Hamza: I have been comfortable with every co-star while on the set, and I think because of my friendly behavior everyone feels comfortable while working with me.
Q: How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Hamza: Everyone has to make sacrifices for balancing his personal and professional life. Even achieving this balance requires sacrifices so I have been makin many to set things straight.
Q: Where do you see Hamza Ali Abbasi in ten years time?
Hamza: Either I would be an Oscar winner or a complete disaster. I believe to spend life in extremes and this is the reason I have set this goal for myself.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 09-Feb-2014