LAHORE-Fahad Mustafa is a name that needs no introduction. He is a man of dreams for many people. Well equipped with immense talent and extremely refined acting abilities, this heartthrob of millions has created a lot of buzz in the country and across the world with his popular films and hit game show ‘Jeeto Pakistan’.

With so much in hands and more yet to come, Fahad surely has a long way to go. In an exclusive interview with The Nation he talks about his sequel to the blockbuster Namaloom Afraad and his way to the top of Pakistan film industry.

Tell us about your childhood: where did you grow up and how did you develop your interest in acting?

I never had an interest in acting because my father was a leading actor of his time. His acting and exceptional dialogue delivery made him popular among both Urdu and Sindhi audience. As a child, I used to go to PTV and at that time I used to perform in different plays as a child actor but I was more interested in production rather than acting.

In Pakistan, most teachers don’t support those students who have a passion for acting. They don’t let those students couch their feelings rather make fun of them.

Once my teacher spoke gruffly with me regarding my acting skills and after that day I left my university and began my career as an actor. I don’t encourage this act but I don’t regret it either.

You are one of those actors who rose to fame without going to Bollywood. Does that make you feel proud?

This statement recently got me in trouble when an English daily gave a counterfeit statement about me and wrote: “I’m the only actor in Pakistan who has reached to this popularity without having had to prove my mettle by going to India.” The publication later issued an apology but it was like putting words in my mouth, which does not have any credibility.

There was actually a formula in our country that the only shortcut to achieve fame is Bollywood. I’m not saying that I never wanted to work in Bollywood but I don’t miss that phrase because you cannot have success overnight. It happens step by step. Today, the films I’m doing are the ones Bollywood can’t even think about.

Coming towards your film ‘Namaloom Afraad’ sequel is soon to be released and you are also starring in ‘Jawani PhirNahi Ani 2’. How do you manage such a hectic routine?

Honestly speaking I’m a very lazy person and I do one thing at a time. There are so many people behind me who manage my work. I perform my shows twice a week which is the easiest work any actor can do.

The only reason my films become hit on the Box Office is that we enjoy every moment of it and get involved with the character given.

Tell us about your role in Namaloom Afraad 2?

It’s a very witty and intelligent character that comes up with a bang of ideas. It is all situational comedy and that is its forte.

How was your experience working with Hania Aamir?

We only shot a few scenes together. I believe that Javed Sheikh is my ‘heroine’ in this film because the chemistry with him during the shooting was ineffable.

You’ve always been reticent when it comes to giving interviews? Any special reason behind it…

I don’t give interviews because I feel I can’t generate news every morning. I feel cheap when few actors of our film industry take selfies and send it to bloggers to upload them on their social media sites. I don’t sign any film contract, I tell them verbally and they trust me on it. I believe in real popularity than the hearsay.

The audience found your acting in ‘Actor in Law’ a delectable one. What worked for the film?

Actor in Law was a smart film, intelligently written by Fizza Ali Meerza and brilliantly directed by Nabeel Qureshi. I don’t believe I’m a great actor but I enjoy the character I play and that’s what worked for the film.

What is about you as an actor that Nabeel Qureshi always casts you in his films?

Films are an expensive medium. Its other people’s time and money and there are hundreds of people who are dependent on you.

Nabeel always casts me because we have a great comfort zone. He does not have to work hard on me. I understand his expressions which always work for the film.

Why Namaloom Afraad 2 was shot in South Africa?

There is a valid reason behind it I can’t disclose it right now but when you will watch the film you will get your answer.

Today, your game show ‘Jeeto Pakistan’ is a huge hit. What do you want to achieve through it?

I really wanted to achieve peace in my life. TV is a different medium it is mostly business which we gain through female characters.

I started hosting TV show to get rid of dramas so that I could get time for my films. When ‘Jeeto Pakistan’ was aired it was termed as a failure but now its popularity graph is so high that those people who used to criticise me, yearn for its tickets.

Would you like to tell us about your Upcoming projects?

I’m working on ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani sequel’ and I have so many tours lined up for ‘Jeeto Pakistan’ in different countries.