Ahsan Khan on Pakistani TV & film industry: “It’s changed a lot & not for the better”

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One of Pakistan’s iconic stars, Ahsan Khan is bracing for the launch of his upcoming show ‘Bandhay Aik Dour Say’, which takes to the air on Geo TV this week. BizAsiaLive.com’s Raj Baddhan caught up with Khan about the show and his journey in the television and film industry.

Ahsan you’re back with a full-fledged new series on Geo TV called ‘Bandhay Aik Dour Say’, tell us about the show?
‘Bandhay Aik Dor Say’ is a family drama, the likes of which were seen in the old PTV days. It’s a little funny and sad and will make you fall in love all over again.

The show has been described as a family play, tell us more about your character?
My character is someone who has a problem expressing his opinion and choice at the right time, is all I will say currently.

‘Bandhay Ek Dour Se’
The love triangle also has Ushna Shah & Hina Altaf – how passionate will this love story turn out to be?
Very and it will be an unusual one by Pakistani standards.

After playing memorable roles in shows like ‘Udaari’, ‘Aangan’ and ‘Alif, do you find playing a role in something like ‘Bandhay Aik Dour Say less challenging?
I really don’t think any role is less challenging, every character has their own set of demands and it’s equally tough to get into any role. It’s the getting out of roles that becomes tough in the sinister ones.

You’ve had a colourful few months of late, hosting Hum TV’s Ramzan shows, Geo TV’s ‘Shahrukh Ki Saaliyan’ & a number of brand campaigns, how would you describe your journey to where you are now?
I think I’ve had an amazing and stable trajectory in the Pakistan entertainment industry. I have been blessed to get such diverse work too. It’s an ode to the different things happening here rather than just me.

During the lockdown, many more viewers have been able to access your show be it on YouTube or Netflix, what would you say about the emerging trends of digital platforms?
I think digital is still in a nascent stage in Pakistan and we need local syndication on our own streaming platforms before we officially move into the digital era.

Like Indian film & TV producers, do you think there will be an explosion of Pakistani content exclusively for digital platforms anytime soon?
If we build our own platforms, like ARY has started, we sure will see an explosion. Other than that, people are turning to platforms like YouTube but the ad revenues are very small right now.

How much do you feel the TV and film industry has changed since you started your career in the 90s?
It’s changed a lot and not for the better I’m afraid. Yes the cameras and the technology have become amazing but rehearsals seem to have disappeared. Honour and dedication is no more and artists seem to treat everything like a video shout-out on Instagram.

Despite your popularity and the love showered on you globally, you’ve remained grounded & very much approachable, is that the reason for your success?
Fear of the almighty, a few knuckles here and there from close friends/family. They’ve kept me grounded. I believe that nothing is permanent – everything is changing and moving. How people remember you, is what really matters. I want to be remembered as a person who was all about love :). Being humble is the key to success.

Once lockdown has been lifted, have you got plans to return to work in anymore films & other non-fictions?
There are a couple of projects in the pipeline but aside from the initial month of lockdown, shooting has resumed here with proper health and safety precautions.

Final message
Live your life, it’s the only one you will get!

‘Bandhey Ek Dour Se’ launches on Geo TV at 20:00, from Thursday 25th June 2020.

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