Being The Villain, Shamoon Abbasi
The Veteran Actor On Playing The Villain Everybody Loves And Hates
Pakistani screen’s quintessential villain, Shamoon Abbasi is an actor who is a rare find. Seen in roles in movies including Waar, O21, Manto and followed by his latest mystery thriller titled Durj. Nobody plays negative roles as perfectly as Shamoon, whose tough manly look, baritone voice and a scruffy beard adds layers to his negative roles.
Why do you think you are able to portray villainous roles better?
For me playing villainous roles has never been a problem… I don't know if it's because of a certain face cut that I have or a personality that is required for negative roles that worked in my favour. But I have strived not to become a clichéd negative character; the sort of pathetic villains we often get to see.
Why be a villain and not a hero?
Doesn't every actor want to be a hero in Pakistan? And you can't blame them since it comes with a lot of financial perks. A hero attracts a lot of endorsements, advertisements and lots of promotional campaigns and gets significant monetary gain from it. Most of the actors which come to showbusiness want to become heroes so that they can garner some commercial value. But when it came to my persona, I realised that there was always a gaping space left for negative roles which were reserved for people who usually were not great actors. So basically, when there is a good hero in a setting, it calls for a need of an equally good counterpart as a villain.
Once an actor plays a villainous role it tends to stick to them and they tend to be labelled as villains for a long time. Does this impact your real-time interactions with people?
I want to become a villain that people like. After doing negative roles for over 10 years, I feel that Shamoon Abbasi has a sort of following for being a villain on the screen, which I like. People who know me personally know that I am not at all a bad person. [Laughs] I haven't tried to part ways from being a negative character or try becoming a hero, unless it's a badly written role. I sort of like being the villain.