Azfar Rehman has acted in a string of successful drama serials, in a range of roles. An actor, model and host by profession, he appears to be unsinkable. In an exclusive tell-all interview, Azfar tells Haider Rifaat about his continued success
What is the most daunting role you have undertaken in your career?
It was that of a black magic practitioner in the drama serial Nazr-e-Bad for HUM TV. To this day, it is one of the most challenging characters in my career. This role won me acclaim and appreciation from my fans all over the world.
What new projects are you a part of?
Iâ€™m doing a web series titled Anaya with Wajahat Rauf and Mehwish Hayat and it will be out soon on the internet. It is an exciting new project and I canâ€™t wait for everyone to watch it. I am also working on a new serial Kadam Kadam Ishq for A-Plus; I play a negative character opposite Areeba Habib. It will premiere sometime in January.
Another drama is Taluq opposite Sonia Mishel for ARY. Itâ€™s an interesting and emotional serial. The story revolves around a coupleâ€™s complicated relationship. They are together despite hardships.
How have roles for women evolved in Pakistan today?
With movies like Cake and Motorcycle Girl, the roles for women are definitely evolving with strong and bold characters. They will only get better with time.
Do you think male actors are not depicted as victims on screen because they are often cited as the bad guys and perpetrators of violence and crime? Is that not unfair though?
Itâ€™s unfair because a large segment of our audience are women and people, including those who make dramas, believe that women like to see other women in distress, although I consider it a myth. Often the formula of portraying women as the victims can make things work but itâ€™s gradually changing with time, bringing more variety on screen.
Many television serials are becoming homogenous. Do we need to move beyond the traditional drawing room drama setting for a change?
Dramas have been a certain way in Pakistan and they are popular for that reason. Although we need a range of shows on television, the standard drawing room dramas should remain intact as they have a major fan following. I think different dramas with unique storylines should come to surface as well.
What are your thoughts on Bollywood and Lollywoodâ€™s present relationship?
Bollywood is a huge industry that has existed for a very long time but Lollywood is still in its developing stage. There is no such relationship between them as Lollywood is emerging and would need the right amount of time to reach a specific standard.
Do you believe in the term â€œfake newsâ€?
I completely believe in the term and it has taken us over in many ways. Some people use fake news to their advantage to stay in the limelight and garner publicity.
Are award ceremonies progressive in Pakistan?
I donâ€™t think they are that progressive! New, talented and aspiring people deserve recognition for their work as well, those who are worthy of it. Nonetheless, I usually attend award shows to meet my colleagues and friends. Itâ€™s also a nice way to enjoy and socialize with everyone.
Who would you want to be in another life apart from being in the field of performing arts?
I would like to be somebody new, someone who has new aspirations and dreams. I donâ€™t want to lead somebody elseâ€™s life because I find that boring and repetitive. I would like to be a person with different goals and ambitions.
Which country would you like to vacation in but havenâ€™t yet?
Beirut in Lebanon â€“ I am planning to go there pretty soon.
Which fashion designer appeals to you the most?
Amir Adnan â€“ no one does traditional wear better than him in Pakistan!
I also enjoy wearing suits by Hugo Boss as they fit perfectly. I have recently started wearing Deepak & Fahad. Their cuts, designs and colour combinations are unique and out of the box.
What is your go-to look?
Graceful, casual and comfortable. Nothing too over the top.
There is no one side to a person. Do you think everyone is inherently introverted and extroverted? Is it a switch you turn on and off in different situations?
I donâ€™t think people are inherently introverted or extroverted per se. Everyone has different ways of handling different situations and people. I am normally very extroverted when I am with my wife, a friend or a family member. I like them to know how I would feel and react if something unfavourable happens.
On extroversion: â€œSometimes you have to be present and not make a statement or express yourself too muchâ€
There are times Iâ€™m surrounded by thorough professionals and seniors at my workplace; I like to stay introverted with them. Sometimes you have to be present and not make a statement or express yourself too much.
Everybody has that switch and if they donâ€™t, they must develop one. It is very important because in certain situations you cannot be extroverted, as you might not know how people will perceive you. It may cause problems. There is always a switch and I use it to my advantage.
Do you take the little things in life lightly or seriously?
I donâ€™t take life seriously. I take the day as it comes by. I read somewhere, â€œWhy kill yourself for anything when you could be replaced in a minute after you are gone?â€ That, in its true essence is what life really is. You are replaced once you are dead.
You should not take things seriously but you must fulfill your personal and professional commitments. Everybody can have a good time. Life will pass by regardless of the circumstances, so it is necessary to let loose occasionally.