Up, close & personal with heartthrob Shaan

LAHORE-Shaan Shahid is the man who has ruled Lollywood for more than two decades with his critically acclaimed performances in Urdu and Punjabi feature films. With his effortless dialogue delivery, natural expression and charming smile Shaan has managed to conquer the confidence and love of his fans and critics.

In conversation with The Nation Shaan shared his thoughts on Pakistan film industry and his upcoming film Arth2 which is remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s 1982 film Arth. Following are the excerpts of the interview:

Arth 2 is remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s 1982-film Arth. What inspired you to make a sequel of it?

In my mind trade between two countries was the most important thing while making this film. I personally feel we can do for India what China does for America. This is a film which presents Indian film industry.  I have created a different timeline with same characters and added fiction into it.

It was very important for me to give a new flavour rather than make a classic again. 

You made your first debut at the age of 17 and now you have been starred in more than 500 films. How do you review your journey in Lollywood?

I am humbled by the love of the people in Pakistan. I will keep on serving them through my art. I personally feel there is so much potential in this medium but it’s been not utilized. There isn’t any culture policy or statement. We are not creating any venues for the youth. We are pushing them towards political parties and wasting their talent. It’s very important for Pakistan to emerge now because it’s going through an evolution of its own. 

Politics is dividing the Pakistan and India’s cinema industry. What do you think?

From Pakistan side it’s zero percent and in India after the BJP government its 100 percent. Pakistan is screening Indian films. We are not against it. The world has become a global village now and there is no point in stopping Pakistani films to be screened in India. We are giving the audience choice to see what they want.

After Khuda ke liye , Arth2 would be your second film to be screened in India. Any plans for the promotion of the film?

We have asked a lot of people but most of them are scared. There don’t want to work with Pakistan as far culture is concerned. It’s a sad in the history of entertainment as an Indian film giant is not playing its responsible which it is supposed to do.

Tell us something about your role in the film?

I’m playing role of Ali who returns to Pakistan from UK to make a professional comeback. Ali falls in love when he goes to London, gets married and after that divorced. He is left with absolutely nothing. He has nowhere to go. After 10 years he comes back to his country. He had once everything and now is left with nothing. He is standing on a road where nobody knows him. He finds a friend. The film is all about human relationships and all that is good in humans. 

You are always reluctant when it comes to giving interviews? What is the reason?

I think a politician need an election to talk about its politics and an actor needs a film to talk about what he wants to say. I prefer giving interviews when my films are getting released.

Now that you have gained a huge fan following in Pakistan, would you consider expanding it further by acting in Hollywood or Bollywood?

Well, I think Pakistan needs me more right now. I need to set the platform and cultural policies. Bollywood and Hollywood have good actors and are working brilliantly but till that time I can’t leave my homeland.

Social media has become a powerful tool for promoting films. Are you using this tool to promote film?

Social media has emerged as a great tool to communicate among the people and market your product. I think this is the right way to go. One must utilize all the benefits the film can have. 

You get so much involved with your films how do you deal with failure if they don’t work?

I enjoy the failure because it teaches me.

Would you like to share about your upcoming projects?

My upcoming project is an action packed film Zarrar.

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