Faysal Quraishi clarifies ‘Parizaad’ statement

Renowned actor Faysal Quraishi has set the record straight after one of his statements was taken out of context. The actor recently made an appearance at comic Junaid Akram’s podcast and spoke about his career at length. The Fitoor star shed light on his profession and how the industry had changed during his time in the showbiz.

In the same interview, Faysal spoke about how he was ‘rejected’ for Parizaad and is glad how well the Ahmed Ali Akbar show has done. However, his statement was misconstrued and many social media pages shared how Faysal was rejected to star in the show.

There was so much hue and cry over this that the actor took to Instagram to clarify how he was merely thinking to produce a show similar to Parizaad and nothing else.

“Please share this video more,” the Bashir Momin actor shared in a minute-long clip on Instagram. “I’m addressing all my fans since people cannot understand such a basic thing. These pages are used to quoting you without properly listening to what you were saying and sharing it without context.”

He then added, “In Junaid Akram’s podcast, we were talking about the script. I said, ‘I submitted the script which was later rejected’.” Faysal then remarked, “When did I say that as an actor I was about the essay Parizaad in the show? I had signed in another actor [in the script I had submitted] for Parizaad, not Ahmed Ali Akber. However, I am really glad that Ahmed did the role of Parizaad. He did justice to it.”

The Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishaan actor then revealed that when he had submitted the script for Parizaad, he was trying to rope in Mirza Gohar Rasheed. “I wanted Gohar to play Parizaad in the script that I had submitted to another channel,” Faysal went on. “The pertinent issue is that these social media pages aren’t patient enough to understand anything. They only know how to make a mountain out of a molehill.”

Adding on, the renowned star commented, “And people, on the other hand, without understanding, without verifying anything join the bandwagon in calling us out.” 

At Junaid’s podcast, Faysal spoke about women’s trajectory in drama serials. The host shared that in yesteryear’s dramas, those women were shown as strong protagonists. “If you pick dramas from the 80s and up until the 90s, there were strong roles portrayed by women onscreen,” Junaid had commented.

“Their [women] body language, their tone was different; they were confident. But as time goes on and people have become more aware, our dramas have been portraying women as meek and weak characters. If you look at the prime-time shows, women are being slapped left, right and center.”

To this, Faysal responded, “This is a very long argument.” He then added, “You have to keep in mind the number of families that had television sets in the 80s and the 90s. Now, there’s a TV in every other household. The educated class doesn’t really watch our dramas. If you make a very philosophical play, case in point Ashfaq Ahmed Sahab’s script, with points to ponder over [it wouldn’t work].”

He further shared, “I keep telling people that if you wish to make a drama that philosophical, the channel won’t see your face again. They would run the show [but won’t work with you again]. We tried our best to produce shows which were thought-provoking and were different from our usual run-off-the-mill drama serials; there were no ratings. The audience rejected the shows, they didn’t watch any of them.”

 “I was recently making fun of some people. Parizaad [has done so well]. I wanted to do this script. But I was rejected. Even my writer was livid that I had turned down this show, but what could I have done? I was advised by everyone to not produce it.”

He then relayed, “You know this has happened every time. Before Parizaad, there was Pyaare Afzal which was male-oriented and had managed to change the trend. There’s Bashar Momin, there’s Mera Saaien among many other drama serials where stories are different. All of them were hits. But the reality is that a larger audience is more inclined towards watching shows which depict issues within the house better. I act so I don’t really watch the shows more than my wife. This is a change we cannot ignore. There are, however, some dramas, which are appreciated by men. There are new channels now, which I think might pick up new work. I am currently reading a script that is not like your usual drama serials. I think it’s high time people understand that things need to change.”

He finally shared, “You know what happened during the lockdown? Our audience was binging on YouTube and Netflix. That’s why the expectations from television content have skyrocketed. People now expect us to show dramas such as Money Heist.”

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Originally published at tribune.com.pk

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