Actor Jawed Sheikh needs no introduction for the Pakistani audiences. He has been super star of our film industry as well as a successful director and producer. He made his acting debut in Lollywood film Dhamaka in 1974. The first film he directed was Mushkil in 1995. In 2005 he started making inroads in Bollywood by acting in movies like Shikar, Namaste London and Om Shanti Om. With the revival of Pakistani film industry especially in Karachi he is back in the game. He is part of most of the film projects that new directors and producers are coming up with. In a telephonic interview with Sunday Plus he shared his views about the revival of our film industry and his role in the movie Wrong No, which is being released across the country on Eidul Fitr. Following are excerpts of the interview:

A new industry has come up in Karachi with new directors, new writers, new actors and new thoughts. You have worked with most of them. What are your views about the situation and how do you think this will change the face of our film industry for good?

The situation is changing rapidly. The same thing has happened in India. The whole scenario has changed. For example all the young directors like Farhan Akhtar and Karan Johar are making their mark in the film industry with their new innovative ideas. Here in Karachi too young people are coming up with good content for film projects. I have worked with most of them and found out that they have this zeal to produce perfect work. They are coming up with new subjects and ideas, which is making the difference. It is all about innovation. Right now it is happening in Karachi. I hope this change spreads to other cities as well.

You have worked in the Pakistani film industry when it was at its  climax. What is the difference of working now with young generation and professionals of that time?

I have worked with many Pakistani top directors like Nazarul Islam and Pervaiz Malik. They were good and dedicated people. The only difference is that there was no touch system. I mean the only difference is that of technology. The young people today are also professional in their approach and want to be perfectionists like the top directors of past.

Bollywood is a big industry and there is a lot of money in it for actors and all the people associated with film projects. How and when can our industry reach that stage?

We cannot reach that stage. We cannot touch them. However, we are going in the right direction. But we should not have too many expectations. Instead of dreaming about going global like Bollywood we should concentrate on our own market and develop it. We cannot compete with India because their industry is big, more advanced and of course more money. They have a big market of 1.5 billion people who love going to watch movies in cinemas. Then they have overseas market that is huge. We have just started making good film projects and have a long way to go.  We cannot make big budget films like Happy New Year, Don and many other such movies. We can make Bol, Na Maloom Afrad and so on. We can market our good movies within our bracket. Our industry will ultimately be recognised.

You have not been able to get big roles in Bollywood movies. But even then you made your mark. Why don’t you get big roles?

You cannot have overnight success. It happens step by step. I will be honest with you. They don’t know Jawed Sheikh at all. They don’t know that I can do comedy roles. They don’t know that I can do other roles too. About doing small roles I would explain it happens when you move to another industry. For example Anil Kapoor did a small role in Mission Impossible ane Amitabh Bachan played a small role in The Great Gatsby.  

You play the role of hero’s father in the film Wrong No. Did you enjoy the role and what are your expectations from the film?

I play the role of a butcher in the film. It was challenging role as I had never before played such a role. The language of the butchers of Karachi is different and difficult. I have lived in Karachi all my life and I know it. Even then I visited some butchers to catch the correct accent. I enjoyed playing the role of a butcher and my expectations from the film are very high. People would love it as it would have them rolling in laughter throughout the film.  

Wrong No. is all about comedy. Is it more situational comedy or does it depend more on dialogue and acting?

It is all situational comedy and that is its forte.  

Would you like to share the perfect routine day of the shooting of Wrong No?

I cannot get up early in the morning. I would wake up at around 10am and then go for shooting at around 11:30 and then the shooting would continue sometimes till 10pm. During all that time it was all fun. The whole cast enjoyed working in this film project. I would crack jokes with Taimoor and all the rest. Food was always served on time in buffet. Then there would be tea breaks. It was all a very good experience.

What projects are in pipeline?

I play the role of Ranbeer Kapoor in the film Tamasha, which will be released on November 27. My role is better than the rest I have played. It is a big budget film directed by Imtiaz Ali while the music is by AR Rehman. Then I have some Pakistani film projects.