• 08 Oct - 14 Oct, 2022
  • Wajiha Jawaid
  • Interview

There is something about Hamza Ali Abbasi. He is a charmer, a versatile performer, and an opinionated fellow with strong views on everything – from socio-political issues, entertainment to religious matters - and he is never afraid to express them.

The powerhouse of talent, Hamza, has done fewer projects on screen but his choices speak volumes for his craft. As a viewer, we always have developed emotional empathy towards all his characters - be it heartbroken Afzal in Pyarey Afzal, the affectionate Salahuddin in Mann Mayal, or a supportive brother Ehtisham in Waar.

A few years ago, the actor took a brief hiatus from acting to go on an unexplored journey of spirituality. The process had not only helped him evolve as a person but he had also got a chance to ponder over the choices he made in the past.

The actor is now all geared up to make a comeback on the big screen. His latest venture, The Legend of Maula Jatt, is Bilal Lashari’s mega-starrer attempt at retelling the cult classic, Maula Jatt.

Hamza Ali Abbasi in an exclusive rendezvous over the phone talked about his return to the big screen and what made him sign the film.

Staying true to his nature, Hamza warmly greeted us before striking up the conversation. It was not easy to answer a group of seven journalists simultaneously, but our star knew how to deal with it. Keeping his nerves under control, he responded to our queries patiently before heading to the dubbing session.

Just like everyone else, Hamza also has high expectations for the film. He considers it one of ‘the biggest films of the year in terms of scale and budget.

“I have high hopes for it because I firmly believe that it will be a huge step forward for the media industry overall. The success of our film will encourage many others to invest in the big-scale projects.,” he stated.

On etching out Noori Natt’s character

Was it easy to do an iconic role that is still fresh in viewers’ minds? The actor was quick to say ‘no’.

“It takes lots of guts to attempt a role that has created history but once I jumped into it, I knew how to handle it,” he said.

The actor while explaining the nuances of his character said, “It has grey shades but he is not evil. His hunger for power makes him corrupt and it is up to the masses how they perceive it,” he stated.

Hamza admitted that the veteran actor Mustafa Qureshi’s input made the process easier.

“Mustafa Qureshi sb has given a layout about basic traits of this character so we work on those lines to develop our version of an antagonist.”

The actor also gave full credit to the director for allowing him to add his touch to the role.

“The character of Noori Nat was developed through joint efforts. The director gave me an arc of the character and then allow me to add my colors to it. He used to say “Go nuts with it,” the 38-year-old actor shared.

Hamza’s methodology to act is different

Despite having roots in theatre, the actor's methodology to work is different from many of his peers. Explaining his process of getting prepared for any role, the Alif actor said, “Getting out of character is always easy for me because I have a control mindset and I don’t let it stay with me forever. The moment director says ‘wrap up, I immediately get out of the character and become myself again,” he said.

He further added, “My methodology is different, I know when I am acting and when I am not. It also helps me to do contradictory characters at the same time.”

The tiring process of shooting

The gruesome look of Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noori Natt has been doing rounds on social media. Holding two axes in his hands, he is all set to tear down anyone who comes his way.

Although, the look had created the much-needed hype for Hamza’s character, but the actor shared it was tiresome to do long hours of shooting while carrying the entire getup.

“Physically, it was a tiring process – it used to take hours to achieve that particular look on every set. Considering the humid weather of Lahore, it was hard to shoot in it for hours,” Parwaaz Hai Junoon actor said.

He also added that their makeup and hair team used to be on alert call all-the-time as props often fell during the shoot. “Fight sequences are the most difficult one. Hats off to our makeup team – they always stand by our side.

During an intense fight sequence, sometimes our hair fell or glue didn’t stick properly so they rushed to the scene and used to fix the things right away,” he added.

The film doesn’t belong to any particular era

After watching the trailer, we assume that it reflects any particular era but Hamza clarifies that it is not time-bound and the story is relevant to all times.

“As far as the script is concerned, it is not time bound and doesn’t represent any particular era. The good vs evil plot, like in TLMJ, has existed in every society since the dawn of time”, he added.

As the film release inches closer each day, Hamza is running from pillar to post to promote it. The actor wrapped up the interview by sharing that he would soon return with some interesting projects next year.

“A couple of projects are in pipeline and I will do them next year but It will be something within the limits defined by my religion,” he said in the concluding remarks.