Wiqar Ali Khan is a famous London based young fashion icon in the Pakistani media world. He is popular among the Pakistani youth. He debuts as the lead star in an upcoming movie Jalaibee, the first-time directorial venture by Yasir Jaiswal and produced by Eman Binte Syed.
The movie has become a rage even before its release on March 20. Jalaibee sets a benchmark for the young Pakistani talent.
SS: Please share a bit about your early life and upbringing?
WAK: I was actually born in my ancestral area Swat but my siblings were born in the U.K. My parents came on a visit. When they decided to return to the U.K., my mom was not allowed air travel because of advanced pregnancy. So, I was born in Swat but brought up and educated in London.
SS: Tell us about your career?
WAK: I began my career as a model when I was 16. Later, I appeared in a few commercials. And then I got the chance to star in Jailaibee. Before Jailaibee ,I’d been offered roles in both India and Pakistan but I’d declined those offers because either I was busy or I wasn’t interested in the role offered. I’ve also worked as a VJ, by the way.
SS: Jailaibee is an Urdu movie. How did manage the language?
WAK: Ah… that was tough! I had my dialogues written in English alphabet. Sometimes I wouldn’t know the meanings of what I was saying. And I couldn’t understand a word of what the other characters were saying. That created problems with expressions and body language.
I had even declined Jailaibee for this very reason that I had almost no knowledge of Urdu.
SS: Is Jailaibee a mix of Urdu and English?
WAK: It’s 80% Urdu. Only about 20% dialogues are in English.
SS: Would you like to give out a few details about Jailaibee?
WAK: Well, it’s a beautiful movie with a very interesting and touching story. It’s like any international movie in the sense that you may not even figure out where it was shot- in Pakistan or abroad. It’s a movie in the same genre as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and its sequel Snitch.
SS: How does it cater to the Pakistani crowd?
WAK: It’s meant for both Pakistani and international audience. But the entire team involved with Jailaibee is from Pakistan.
SS: What was it like during the shootings?
WAK: I had a great time. I’m grateful to my co-stars, the director, the producer, the writer, and everyone.
SS: How many songs and dance numbers are there in Jailaibee?
WAK: There’s only one song and its only there because of the demand of the situation. It’s not an item number, it’s part of the story. We all put in our extra to make it a fabulous performance. Zhalay Sarhadi is amazing in this song!
SS: What’s your take on Namaloom Afraad?
WAK: It’s a great movie. I love it. It’s director is a good friend of mine. He’s done a superb job. I’m very happy that movie like Namaloom Afraad, Bol, Khuda Keliyae and Zinda Bhaag have been made in Pakistan.
SS: Can we call it revival of Lollywood?
WAK: No, it’s not Lollywood. It’s the revival of the Pakistani cinema. Lollywood is just thatGujjar and Gandasa type raw violence.
The main difference is that this Pakistani Cinema is all about educated people coming out as directors, producers, writers and actors. Previously that was not the case, the cinema had a very bad reputation. Girls appearing in the movies were seen as girls of bad morals. Now, we have young, educated girls belonging to respectable families appearing in the Pakistani Cinema.
SS: Any Bollywood project you may like to do? Have you got offers?
WAK: Yes, I’ve been offered to act in a movie starring Aishwariaya Rai and Abhishek Bachan. It’s called Dhai Akshar Prem Kay ( A few words of love ).But when I heard the story it turned out to be a remake of a famous Hollywood movie. So, I declined the offer. I was not interested in working in a remake!
SS: What future projects do you have in mind?
WAK: I’ve decided to direct a movie soon. It would be my debut as a director. I’m not just an actor, I’m also a director.
SS: You’ve been away from home for a quite a while being so busy with promotion of Jailaibee, how do you spare time for your family?
WAK: My wife and kids are the most important part of my life. My children go to school in London. When I’m not working, then my time is entirely theirs.
SS: Thanks Wiqar Ali Khan for sparing your time and sharing your thoughts with Daily Capital. We wish all the best to Jailaibee!