Usman Mukhtar is a man of many talents and today we’re going to make him spill the tea on his numerous roles and on his experience playing Aswad in HKKST. Plus, you’ll get to know more about how love changed him for the better and how he believes nepotism and favouritism are harming the Pakistani entertainment industry.
On Playing Aswad & Working Alongside Mahira Khan & Kubra Khan
Usman Mukhtar says that when he first started reading the script for Aswad’s character in HKKST he realised he was too toxic and he didn’t really want to do it. However, after discussing some of the issues with the team, they came up with alternate ways to do scenes, to tone down areas where Aswad might a bit too aggressive towards Mehreen. This was also primarily done because one shouldn’t show the hero in a negative light.
Why Is Aswad So Gullible?
When FUCHSIA asked Usman why Aswad is so gullible to Mashal’s scheming, Usman retorted
He has no contact with Mehreen so he believes the person whom he meets, in this case, Mashal. We believe in so much unverified news on the Internet, so Aswad is after all, her cousin and he doesn’t think Mashal is capable of lying.Usman Mukhtar on Aswad in Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay
Aswad can’t believe Mashal would go out of her way to burn a shirt. The cigarette butt is the tip of all the falsehoods and lies that he thinks Mehreen has committed over the years. Aswad just used the cigarette moment to justify his stance…
I was scared Altamash (from Anaa) might crossover into Aswad’s space. So I made Aswad more animated. Changed my voice a bit. A younger look and hence, more gullible.’Usman Mukhtar on Aswad & Altamash
Nothing But Praises For His Female Co-stars
‘Working with Mahira Khan on the sets of HKKST was very easy as she makes everyone around her comfortable and she’s down to Earth, with zero tantrums. Plus, the fact that she’s hard-working and cooperative, makes acting alongside her even easier.’ says Usman Mukhtar.
Usman also revealed that he and Mahira were supposed to work in ‘Verna‘ together. Shoaib Mansoor had approached him earlier, but he couldn’t commit because of his busy schedule. Likewise, Usman was all praises for Kubra Khan as well, “who’s a pro-gamer by the way” he reveals, “and very good at ‘Destiny’- so much so that she beat all of them”!
Why Does The Script Feel Regressive In Places?
‘It’s Umera Ahmed’s script. You cannot change what a writer has written. I would like to see different stories. I watched Family Front and Teen Bata Teen when I grew up. Horror dramas too. But we are not experimenting much. We are not exploring other genres. I don’t know why, but we are so invested in certain genres of drama because the public likes these stories. We need to mould our audience to watch other genres. The responsibility lies with producers & channels.’
On Playing Dr Haris In Sabaat & Letting His Fans Down
‘I don’t think the audience betrayed me. ‘Sabaat‘ was a project I did and the audience expected more. I should have been pickier about the script. I was told the therapist-patient relationship was well researched. The audience reaction was justified but it did overwhelm me. Though I received love after ‘Anaa‘, I was criticised after ‘Sabaat‘. My grandfather told me, “never forget where you come from, despite achieving success. If you remember where you came from, you will be able to handle the downfall”, and remembering that helped me a lot.’ Usman says with a sense of relief, almost as if he’s been the full circle…From Sabaat to HKKST!
On How Love Changed Him
Usman also went on to talk affectionately about his mother who suffers from Dementia. He said that he had put his career on hold to take care of his mother. She single-handedly raised him and did everything she could for him. ‘So looking after her is not a matter of strength, it’s all out of love. She was a superwoman. Driving to meet me at the boarding school. Seeing her like this is hard. I want to be there for her.’
The Age-Old Debate Of Nepotism Vs. Favoritism In The Industry
‘If you’re not performing even if you’re a star child, the audience won’t take to you. I feel favouritism is more of a problem. We have many talented actors who are not given a chance, from Napa as well. Fawad Khan, an actor I’ve only met once, is so good but we don’t see him more. This is the responsibility of our casting director and production houses to bring new talent. You must support new talent in your country for it to prosper.’