Osama Tahir is the entrant in the entertainment industry we have all been waiting for. He is not only good looking, but also knows his craft and thrives to make his mark as an actor. Like many others, this fair and handsome lad never thought he would make a career out of acting. “It was more like a side gig for me. I was focusing on my studies,” says Osama, who was studying business administration with majors in marketing back then. He started acting in a play called Starlight nine years ago. “I never did it in school. It was a commercial play and the first time that I was acting. After that, I realised this is perfect! The only avenue that I was missing to express myself was finally there. I did some small projects but it was nothing I thought I could make a career out of,” he reminisces.
The marketer and entrepreneur soon realised that acting was his true calling. “Five years ago, I did two plays and my passion for acting rekindled. It is really something that intrigued my interest. It is the only platform where I can fully express myself and the happiness and satisfaction that I get from acting - is a feeling I never get from anything else,” he says with a shine in his eyes.
When he finally decided to go full-time as an actor, his family reacted in the most practical way. “My mom was very supportive. She is a very careful person. So when I was switching my career to acting, she sat me down and asked me the pros and cons of my decision. Once I did that, she was supportive and advised me to focus on acting completely,” says the doting son.
Starting his career from theatre, the 37-year-old actor recently bagged his debut role as one of the leads in an upcoming Pakistani movie. “My friends were working with Umer Adil and they were looking for a lead actor who would fit the character. I had been doing plays back then, so I thought I should audition for it. I went for two auditions and I got the role,” says Osama enthusiastically.
The debutant has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest stars of the industry and he has had a wonderful experience. “I worked alongside five very famous people in the film, all of whom are well-known and have been working for a very long time, and they have been nothing but fantastic to me. They knew it was my first film, they knew I had never acted in front of the camera but they never said ‘oh ho! Yeh kaun naya agya hai, is ko to koi experience hi nai hai.’ It was nothing like that. They were very welcoming, warm, and accepting,” he opens up about his very first experience of working with the biggies of the industry. Osama is also appreciative of learning from his co-stars. “They advised me on how to improve my work and that really helped a lot. A different perspective can broaden your mind and help you improve your work,” he remarks.
Having done four commercial plays, Osama is of the opinion that stage acting helps one develop their craft and establishes a concrete base for an actor. “Stage acting teaches you how to truly understand the craft that is acting. Once you are up on the stage, there are no second chances, the audience is looking at you and you have to make it happen. Stage actors develop vulnerability – whether you fumble a line or forget a scene, whatever happens, you have to take the story ahead. There are no retakes, you only have one shot and you have to give your best,” he explains.
Osama endorses the idea of theatre actors moving to dramas and films. “If actors shift more from stage to films and TV, you will see a massive change in the kind of acting we get see right now and theatre actors will learn a lot too,” he says. While he makes a smooth transition from stage to the big screen, he does recognise the difference between the two. “Stage and cinema are two really different mediums of telling a story. On stage, you have to be very loud and be mindful of the fact that not everyone can see your facial expressions, so you have to tell the story in a different way. In a movie, on the other hand, it is very easy to show all the emotions and gestures. The camera catches your expression and the story has been told,” he comments on the different dynamics of both mediums.
The actor who could talk endlessly about the importance of theatre is actually an introvert. “I am the sort of person who enters a crowded room and finds a corner spot. I am not the kind of person who likes to be the centre of attention,” says the guy who loves spending time with his friends and close family. He is such an introvert that he actually cringed when asked about love and relationships. While he refused to comment on his relationship status, he shared with us his idea of love: “It is truth and honesty. If you do not have honesty between two people, in any relationship in your life – be it with your parents, friends or your partner – there is nothing. And when you truthfully accept someone in your life, you do nothing but love them.”
Osama is currently working on a stage play called No Man’s Land directed by Arad Junejo and is ready to take up anything impactful that comes his way. “There has to be a story and a fascinating character and no matter which medium it is – be it theatre, drama or film – I am open to it. There are a few projects in the pipeline but I cannot disclose them right now but the plan is to focus on acting and have a serious impact on Pakistan’s performing arts,” he signs off. •
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