Ahmed Ali Butt - Growing Bigger & Better

  • 17 Nov - 23 Nov, 2018
  • Zainab Naseem
  • Interview

We have known him as a rapper, rock music keyboardist, and lately as a film actor. Ahmed Ali Butt has been around for sometime now and is the one who always plays his cards well. In a brief chit-chat with MAG, Ahmed Ali Butt talks about his journey to recently accomplished success as a film actor and he being a responsible, family person. Excerpts:

From Entity Paradigm (EP) till now, how do you feel about life, your successes and your achievements?

The journey has been surprising, thrilling and exciting for me. [laughs] Entity was the band and after that it progressed toward becoming Entity Paradigm following eight or nine years. So, I think from music to acting and to the film and hosting, it has been a long adventurous ride. And I won’t say that it was a smooth one. I had done private jobs too, because obviously I was struggling at that time, but then I decided to stick to acting and music. I am thankful to the Almighty for the success.

We have seen you in front of an audience, as an entertainer, giving people the fits of laughter, would you say you are the same at your home too?

I figure no one needs to live with somebody who always cracks jokes constantly.

I am sensitive, and comedy doesn’t come from anybody who’s not sensitive. My wife knows my real side and she can say that I am not too funny and entertaining. Because you have to be responsible towards family and friends. Everybody knows the fact that humour is a strong part of my personality. Not completely opposite of what I am on screen, I do enjoy humour, however mostly I am very responsible at home.

Was it easy for you to switch yourself from being a rock keyboardist-rapper to a comedian actor-host? 

Not really, hosting came later in my life’s plans. It was Frieha [Altaf], who first encouraged me to do hosting. Even when I was doing music I was the one doing the hosting parts in our concerts too, trying to crack a joke here and there, so it was a part of me, and was definitely not decided. And I did a lot of theatres in my school as well, so first came music then came acting.

The trend of award functions and accolades being showered upon celebrities is getting quite prevalent. How important do you think a trophy is for an actor?

I think any kind of appreciation is healthy, let it be all merit. I unequivocally believe in achieving things on merit. But I believe that award shows don’t have merit anymore, they are based on popularity and hot trends of social media. We have introduced new categories at award shows too, basically to win the hearts of everyone. I have been a part of this industry for so long now that I know how things work, but I always believe in merit and I work hard to make myself evident among all.

You are often spotted on the red carpet with your wife. How much support do you get from her?

She is the support system of my life, my best friend. She is a very helpful critic and she has always guided me towards the brighter side of life. At the end of the day if her support was not there, then I wouldn’t have this luxury. She takes care of everything, when I am not home. She is the boss and she is great at it. And I am happy to have her by my side, because having a good and supportive spouse is a blessing, and I am blessed that way.

Considering your long affiliation with acting now, how much have you seen your progress as an actor?

I had stopped doing acting for television for a while now, because if you do comedy, you are labelled as a comedian. After doing three films [Jawani Phir Nahe Aani, Punjabi Nahi Jaungi, Jawani Phir Nahe Aani 2], I am more inclined towards cinema. For television, if something really good will come, then I will definitely go for it. Progress, yes, I am progressing and adapting each day.

What are the things you focus on when selecting a role?

The script; it’s the most important element for any movie to hold itself together. And the director, if the story is not very brilliant but the director is good, you can still give it a go.

Do you ever plan to work across the border?

I don’t feel the need to, there was a time it was so significant for people to work across the border. Furthermore, regardless of whether I do, that would always be my second priority, since I love my country and it is my identity.

Who would you give credit to for the success you’ve achieved in all these years?

When I was young, my brother Mustafa was a rock for me. He has always motivated me, and he always used to say “You are a star”. Of course, my parents too, my upbringing and my education, is completely because of them, but the kind of support I needed was always provided by my brother and I am very glad that he played a vital part in my life. My family has always been very supportive to me.

Tell us something about your childhood? How were you as a child?

My childhood was magical. We are four brothers and the upbringing was beautiful. I was surrounded by music and grew up with art and creativity. I have always seen women at my home being powerful, responsible and honourable. I am glad that my upbringing was done by them.

What do you do when not working, how do you usually spend your day when idle?

[laughs] I spend a lot of my time in my studio, making music. But when I am in Lahore, all idle, I don’t socialise and give all of my time to Azaan and Faatimah. I am a family person and I love to cook too, it’s therapeutic. So, I spend all of my time at home.

What’s next on your plate? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Hopefully, the next year I am going to start my own production house, so I am very excited and looking forward to it. Plus, I am working on a movie and leaning more towards cinema and music. Hosting is there too. So, the picture is big.