Amar Khan On Qayamat: ‘It’s My Most Challenging Role Till Date’
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with HNH Style, the actor revealed why 'Samra' is her most challenging role till date. Find out why.
Amar Khan has time and again proved her acting prowess. Give her any role; she will perform it with the required dedication and conviction. From 'Ghugi', 'Belapur Ki Dayan' to 'Dil-e-Gumshuda', every character she played on screen has been distinctive yet challenging. Amar's seriousness towards her craft can be seen in the choices she makes.
Khan is again riding the crest of success with her rousing performance in 7th Sky Entertainment's ongoing blockbuster drama serial 'Qayamat'. In a recent conversation with HNH Style, the actor spoke at length about the genesis of another superlative performance. Read on…
HNH Style: I want to start by congratulating you on a fantastic 2021. Were you expecting the kind of response that ‘Qayamat’ has been getting from all corners?
Amar Khan (AK): Thank you. Honestly, I was aware of the fact that some stories have the perfect formula and enormous mass appeal. Yes, I was expecting it to connect with a larger section of the audience. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed to witness the sky rocketing TRP’s of each episode, the massive trending on YouTube and the overall tremendous response amidst such a tough competition.
HNH Style: I find a striking similarity between you and legendary Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar. ‘One project per year but a guaranteed success’. Your comments.
AK: Well, I take this as a compliment (chuckles). He is the subcontinent’s biggest actor and I admire his filmography. Yes, I am slow; I take my time. I read a lot of scripts and unless I am not fully convinced with the scope and margin to excel, I don’t sign up for it. It’s not a good thing to be slow; but I can’t help it as I have studied filmmaking and script writing. As an actor, I feel the added responsibility and pressure before choosing a particular character. I hope to speed up in future.
HNH Style: Don’t you fear of letting go a good amount of money by doing selective work?
AK: Not just fear, it’s also a lot of de-motivation when a huge chunk of money has to go off. After all, we have bills to pay and manage our expenses. It is a lot of concern and added pressure. But, as they say when you have the vision to achieve excellence, you need to work hard with patience.
HNH Style: When you pick up scripts, do you have a certain method in your mind or just follow your instinct?
AK: There are a couple of things I look forward while choosing a script, firstly what is the story all about. Secondly, being an actor, I want to see how much contribution my role has in bringing believability and taking the narrative forward. As far as the method is concerned, it is different with every character. For instance, in ‘Belapur Ki Dayan’ I wasn’t very well acquainted with the horror genre. I made a playlist of some horror instrumentals to delve into the character. In ‘Dil-e-Gumshuda’ I took inspiration from some real-life characters. I had come across some grammarian girls who were outspoken with an extrovertish demeanor. I picked up their mannerism, tonality, fake accent and incorporated into Alizay’s character. So, with every character the preparation is different.
HNH Style: Ok, so how has life changed after this mega success called ‘Qayamat’? I am sure you must have hiked your fee with some whooping percentage.
AK: After every success, you have more pressure on your shoulders to deliver. Right now, I am going through that phase; looking for an even better project and a challenging character. Yes, I am soaking in all the adulation of this mega success i.e. the compliments on my acting abilities, the ensemble project and the heartening comments. I look forward to not just hike my fee, but also be a part of some substantial and interesting projects as well.
HNH Style: What is the best compliment you have received so far?
AK: I came across a lady while stepping out of a boutique; she gave me her blessings and dua’s, and said ‘I saw you dying on screen; but in real life, I wish Allah Almighty give you a long life with health and happiness’. I don’t think there was any other compliment better than this. People do connect with you beyond your screen appearance and presence. It makes me want to reach out to every single person to hug and thank them. After the death of ‘Samra’, I got a lot of health related dua’s for my real life and this is something very rare.
HNH Style: Would you say that ‘Samra’ is your most challenging role till date?
AK: YES. Why because when you aren’t familiar with a character to a vast extent, or you haven’t seen much abused women around, it becomes a challenge within itself. I was playing a damsel in distress for the first time, she was such a deteriorated weeping woman, but had a lot of patience, sincerity, loyalty, commitment, self-sacrifice and selflessness. Rarely do we get to such qualities in people more ofently. These were the ingredients that made ‘Samra’ having a voice and dilemma of her own. I had to connect deeply with the pain and poignance. For me, as an actor playing ‘Samra’ was definitely a huge toll.
HNH Style: How much of preparation did you undertake to play this one?
AK: I did a lot of preparation as I wanted ‘Samra’ to be different from the rest of girls weeping on-screen. I wanted to give her a timeless and classic presence; the way she carried her apparels i.e., Anarkali long frocks, churidar’s and the way she draped the dupatta over her head. I wanted that ‘Nazakat’ and old-world charm in her behavior. Every time she dropped a gaze and then raised it up, there was a lot of apprehensiveness in that moment. So just on these small little details, I poured my heart and emotions out.
HNH Style: What was your head-space like when you shot those domestic abuse sequences?
AK: The day we were supposed to shoot these scenes, my headspace would start triggering and experimenting with my imaginative self. Like a night before the shoot, I would analyze and think about what will I be doing tomorrow. It wasn’t preparation; I wanted to have an understanding that god forbid if such a thing happens with me in real life, how would I react? If I am debilitating, helpless, hopeless, not blessed enough to be a strong woman and not able to stand my ground. How would I respond? I felt the bone chilling sentiments while imagining the scenario. Subsequently, the thinking process started, however, me and Ahsan didn’t rehearse the doing process. We instinctively played around and created right in the spur of the moment. We kept it less rehearsed and less mechanical so that the scenes would look spontaneous and natural. Also, it wasn’t easy to perform such intense scenes; my eyes would be blotted for hours. My throat and voice choked and I had to wait for some time to resume back. Many at times, it did get disturbing.
HNH Style: Was it difficult for you to leave behind the character once you wrap up the shoot?
AK: Usually, the shooting spell is around forty to fifty days with ten working hours in a day. This means you give five hundred hours of your life to a character. Being an actor, it takes time to get pass, as we live and breathe every bit of it. On the contrary, it’s easy for the viewers to disconnect easily as they watch the episode for forty minutes.
HNH Style: Tell us about a funny incident on set?
AK: My co-star Ahsan Khan was always cracking jokes; laughing out loud on the smallest things. He is an entertaining person to interact with offset. Also, his character at times was very outlandish, he would laugh himself when mouthing dialogues like ‘Chipkali Ke Moo Wali’ or ‘Shaljam Phekay’. It was great fun shooting for ‘Qayamat’.
HNH Style: Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Azha 2021, when will we see you on the silver screen? What’s the update on your debut film ‘Dum Mastam’?
AK: Nobody in the entire world can predict about the current ongoing covid situation. We are now grappling with the third wave of coronavirus. The moment we think we are prepared to come to the cinemas something happens. ‘Dum Mastam’ is all set and ready for a theatrical release. I hope the situation relaxes up soon and things get back on track.
Concluding the conversation, we asked Amar about her upcoming projects: “I am reading a lot of scripts. As of now, I have five scripts; I am done reading three, still two left to be read. I haven’t zeroed upon anything. Like you said, after the mega success of ‘Qayamat,’ I want to do something completely different from ‘Samra’ or any other character I have done before. Let’s wait and watch.”