If there is to make any list of upcoming A-list actors of Pakistan, Amar Khan’s name would be included in without any doubt. Amar in a little span of time has earned a name in acting by choosing her characters very carefully. Her every role is different from other so far and she is resolute to do so in the future as well.
Amar recently has appeared in Geo TV’s on-going drama serial Qayamat as Samar, an educated but simple girl who is victim of domestic violence. Though her role ended after the first 15 episodes but she is satisfied with what she has done with it. She believes it is enough to be continuously on screen for two to three months to make a character memorable for viewers. Moreover, she trusts her writer and director who decided to end the character at certain stage.
IBC got an opportunity to meet this aspiring star and talked in detail about her professional approach and thoughts on other social issues involving the field of showbiz and media at large.
What did entice you to accept the character of Samra?
I have so far done very dominating and over-empowering characters but never a role which at length could connect to the masses. My role in Qayamat though was like a formula one, but had a universal theme that related to millions of women around. The issue of domestic abuse and violence against women is somehow prevails in every house and is very common especially in countries like Pakistan. So, to connect with every woman at every household I thought Qayamat was the best option.
How was your experience of working with your co-star Ahsan Khan?
I started off my career with Ahsan Khan. It was a short film for Hum TV with him just after I graduated from my film school. To be honest, he was one of the reasons for which said yes to Qayamat.
There are three to four reasons for an actor to say yes to a project. First how is the script, who is the director, which channel or platform it would be relayed on and lastly who the other cast is? So when I heard that Ahsan is playing the role of my husband in the play, I thought it was going to be fireworks.
I knew that the couple in the script had a very crackling and fiery chemistry. Both are very diverse characters. One is a spoiled and arrogant brat from a powerful family while the girl is educated, naive but at the same time is very weak. I thought that combination would be liked by viewers.
Other cast like Neelam Muneer, Saba faisal, and Shabbir Jan were great to work with. It was a pleasure to be with Haroon Shahid, though my work was very short with him on screen but as I am a big fan of music so I used to listen to a lot of songs from him off screen.
In many scenes of Qayamat, you were physically abused. How did you mange. Was some if it real?
A good actor has to balance this. For instance, when you push or grab someone’s hair, it can be handle it with imitated force but when you have to clutch the face of a character in wrath, it should be done with technique. Ahsan knew where to actually put more force to depict it as real and spontaneous and where he had to mime and I had to express stronger reaction of pain and humiliation. To me, those were very action oriented and stunt driven scenes and we both had a very good understanding of doing them. It is very awkward for an actor if he/she not comfortable with his/her co-stars while doing these types of scenes as you are touched in a certain way in them that you might not like to be in actual life. I had to comprehend that he was not Ahsan and I was not Amar. We were those characters. So if you are not able to do justice to that I think the whole narrative goes in waste.
Do you think that our TV dramas should take a step forward from just presenting violence and abuse on women to showing a way out to them?
Yes, I think they should but a formula theme is a sure shot which can relate and connect to the larger audience. This rule is not just for dramas but for films also like a Salman Khan film which has action, comedy, tragedy, romance even dances in one pack, the chances of its success are higher and it usually become a hit film. On the contrary if we are working on an experimental subject, it might not get that reach. Producer always try to go with the script (even if it is issue based) that could connect to more people. I believe that domestic abuse is a serious topic and we are ridiculing it’s seriousness by not showing it on television. I agree that the content which is more progressive and mature must also be shown but there always remain an audience for household stories like Qayamat.
A drama is called a medium of masses. Can it carry a powerful message in society?
I as an audience whenever go through a story, always extract out the inspiring morale of it. It is up to the receiver how he/she perceives it, whether they are getting with the negative part or going with the positive side of message.
I don’t think that our audience are that stupid that if something bad or negative is shown on television just to reinforce that as bad, it will inspire them to do the same. Instead of undermining and underestimating the public, we should trust their upbringing, education and humanity. Stories are always inspiring. They have a villainous and a good character whether we lift them from our religious/history or everyday life.
Do you think Pakistan show biz industry needs campaigns like metro movement?
Any movement either it is Aurat March or metoo movement, women are raising their voice for their fundamental rights. Besides, if anything else wrong is happening elsewhere in the world and being addressed with our freedom of speech, it is peoples right. For instance there’s a very powerful movement named ‘I am unbeatable’ against domestic abuse in west. If it is there it has an objective to stop violence against women. I believe everything has some reason behind it. So, instead of curbing and banning them, we have to think how constructively these movements can benefit the society as a whole. It might take some time but if we have a positive will and strong objectives, it will bring change.
Social media has become a mouthpiece of hate speeches and trolling. Being a celebrity you face more of this kind of negativity. How do you cope with them?
I just ignore them. Like if I get 500 comments and among them 490 are positive and 10 are negative, I welcome warmly those majority open heartedly instead of those minority of 10 who troll unnecessary.
I have completed my film Dam Mustam and waiting for the COVID 19 to get over and cinema reopens again.