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Truly Imran Ashraf

Truly Imran Ashraf

Truly Imran Ashraf
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Imran Ashraf has become a name synonymous to impeccable acting, you’ve known him for years through your TV screens, sometimes as a loyal sidekick in Dillagi to a sensible and sane brother in Khuda Mera Bhi Hai to playing a significant role as a transgender on a mission to change fate in Alif Allah Aur Insan to everyone’s favourite Bhola in Ranjha Ranjha Kerdi, to the iconic Musa in Raqs-e-Bismil, the maestro has proved his mettle time and time again. And we’re sharing with you his journey to stardom and what shaped him to be the Imran Ashraf we know today.

From child star to an established actor

The burning passion for acting was always there in his eyes and soul even at the age of 8 years old when played a child actor in the drama Jab Mohabbat Nahi Hoti alongside Nouma Ijaz and Arifa Siddiqui. He also worked with Faysal Quraishi in a telefilm before going away to a boarding school. His potential was picked up by the playwright Khalil ur Rehman Qamar who wrote a script for him called Chandpur Ka Chandu, ‘by the time he approached me  I had grown up, I was much taller so then his own son played the part then, it was directed by Dilawar Malik’ shared Ashraf.

The actor is, without any doubt, a master of his craft. Describing himself in his own words, he is a passionate man in every aspect of his life, be it friendships, commitments or even his love for food, everything he does buds from a place of passion. ‘When I first started acting, I had my fair share of trial and errors in the beginning, but once I perfected my craft I just fell in love with acting. And what started off as love has now turned into madness for me.’ Touching on the issue of the industry not willing to take risks when it comes to the narratives they present and the way they layer the characters, the star shared that he owes his fans a lot more than mediocre and run-of-the-mill scripts therefore he usually opts for a challenging role when it comes to signing a script.

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From a triumphant actor to a well-received script-writer

When Ashraf wasn’t getting the kind of scripts he wanted, he decided to write one and what came out of it was Mushk. Apart from being the actor’s brainchild, Ashraf also starred in the drama playing Adam. His writing was reminiscent of the old PTV dramas and the star admits that he wanted to show a hero with a spine, Ashraf also commented: ‘We often see men being the dubious villains with their wrong doings, but who will teach these men to do the right things? Creating a character like Adam I wanted to show a man who serves as an example for other men to follow.’ The star is currently working on a script that he revealed will be directed by Ehteshamuddin.

For Ashraf, audience is his boss

Usually when a project is airing, the audience is usually at two extreme ends of the spectrum, they either love it or hate it, and there really is no in-between. While it is very easy to sit behind a screen and criticise someone’s work, giving solutions to the critique is equally important, and in this day and age it’s very easy to impose your opinion on someone. All it takes is a comment that others read, endorse and forward without actually watching the serial and the actor agrees as he says, ‘audience is the boss,’ he then went on to share that he’s been on the receiving end to both, love and critique, but he always makes it a point to try not to hurt anyone, and honestly that’s how it should be for everyone.

Acting is his first and last love

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For a true artist, the avenues don’t matter when portraying your craft, be it via music videos, short films, OTT platforms. Ashraf recently starred in Soch band’s music video for Tera Deewana and as an audience, it seemed way more than just a music video. The 6 minutes told a story, it was almost like a short film that had me hooked till the very end. Ashraf weaved magic on-screen with Adnan Kandhar and Bilal Saeed calling it a wonderful experience. ‘I came all in for the project, it wasn’t a music video for me, it was a film, it had dialogues, the band sang the number exceptionally well and I really enjoyed working on it.’

The icon is thrilled to make his mark in the film industry with his debut film Dum Mastam alongside Amar Khan. When asked about the switch from TV to films, Ashraf shared that he does not believe in tweaking his craft for different avenues, he does not believe in differentiating one project from another. Adding to his experience the star shared, ‘my acting is very precious to me, and so whenever I use it to breathe life into my character, I am very cautious of how I use it.’

Becoming the most loved Bhola in the country

Bhola was a character that Ashraf is remembered for in every household, from 8 year olds to 88 year olds, people just can’t stop adoring Bhola to this day and it is quite natural that Bhola at some point, took over Ashraf’s identity. People would spot him and call him Bhola, fans keep requesting time and time again for the actor to show a side of Bhola when they meet him and Ashraf is full of gratitude for landing a role like that of Bhola’s: ‘It was Bhola that gave me an identity and not the other way round, I believe that every character is a hero in its own way, rarely do we see someone specially-abled being portrayed with such detail and the credit goes to Kashif Nisar for bringing such characters to life and being inclusive to everyone.’

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A character like Bhola can distress a lot of actors, the intricacies and the attention to detail that it required is not an easy feat, but for Ashraf, it was just another day at work as he talks about how he stepped into Bhola’s character: ‘I prepared for Bhola thinking that I was born Bhola, I started thinking like him, I started walking, talking, joking and behaving like him, so basically I turned my life into Bhola’s to play the character. And this is how I prepare for every character that I perform, having done more than 70 plays, it is very humbling that God has been very kind to me.’

The woman behind his success

Behind every man’s success there is a woman and it proved to be true for Ashraf too, the star often talks about how his wife has brought him luck and even while speaking to us, we couldn’t help but notice the amount of love and respect his tone conveyed for his wife. ‘She’s very lucky for me,’ he shared, ‘I believe that it’s because of her luck that my career took off in the industry.’

It was not an easy journey

Touching on the journey that it’s been building a name for himself in the industry, Ashraf’s stance left quite the impact as he shared that the struggle he had to go through to become the actor he is today was simply the price one has to pay. He shared that the struggling phase polished him and helped him become a great actor and if it wasn’t for the challenges he faced he wouldn’t be reigning the industry like he is now.

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Ashraf also made it a point to encourage the budding actors to take on the challenges without any hesitation for they are a price that everyone in the industry has to pay. And as the actor keeps himself occupied with shoots and soon-to-be promotions for his film Dum Mastam which is expected to release this Eid-ul-Fitr, all of it points towards an extremely entertaining 2022 ahead which we are eagerly looking forward to!

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