ATIF ASLAM : THE BOL INTERVIEW
BY SHAHZEB SHEIK
news Atif of Aslam being cast by Shoaib Mansoor in Bol made the
headlines, a sense of excitement rippled through the entertainment
With his big screen debut
slated for release on June 24 throughout Pakistan, Images on Sunday
caught up with the singer now turned actor to talk about his role in the
film, the re- vival/rebirth of Pakistan’s film industry and a whole lot
How were you ap- proached by Shoaib Mansoor for Bol?
: I got a call from Shoaib Mansoor and he asked if I’d be interested in
doing the music of Bol. I said why not and suggested we meet. When we
did, to my surprise he offered me the chance to act in the lead role.
After reading the script, I was even more in- terested in doing it.
What is your role in the film?
AA: I play a doctor who wants to be a musician. He has two loves: one is music and the other is a neighborhood girl.
How challenging is the role for you as a musician?
In the beginning it was quite challenging because I had zero acting
experience and delivering dialogues was the most difficult thing for me
to do. But after I began to act, I grew as an artiste.
How is acting in music videos different from the big screen?
Acting in a music video is basically about lip syncing songs and giving
expressions that represent what the song is about. While acting for the
silver screen, you have to deliver dialogues, remember them and you
have to be in a certain frame of mind. It isn’t about being yourself,
but about your character.
I don’t think I was
nervous. I was more careful and cautious. If given another chance, I
think I can do better. There’s always room for improvement.
Do you think you can act?
I don’t know, really. It wasn’t a tough role for a beginner so I’ve
tried my level best and it wasn’t all that bad. I didn’t need any kind
Did having Shoaib Mansoor there help you? How was it working with him?
It was amazing. I ap preciate his punctuality, script writing and his
art. He was very helpful while deciding if I should do Bol or not since
it is based on a controversial subject. Shoaib Saheb told me that I will
not be part of the con troversy as it revolves round someone else’s
Did you ever think you’d venture into acting?
: I’ve been offered roles in Indian films but I wanted my debut film to
be from Pakistan. A lot of peo ple think that I’ve made my music career
from India, but that’s not true. I made it big in Pakistan and then I
went across the border.
What kind of audience will Bol appeal to?
AA: I think it’s a film for the entire nation. It spreads awareness about many issues.
Do you think it will be as popular as Khuda Kay Liye?
AA: I have big expectations. But it all depends on how audiences interpret the film, respond and react to it.
How was the experience working with Mahira Khan?
AA : It was brilliant. I think she’s very talented and she’ll go places. In the beginning, she was as nerv ous as I was but
she started working, she was just brilliant. I had better chemistry
with her off screen than on screen, Shoaib Saheb would say.
Can Bol do what Khuda Kay Liye couldn’t in terms of bringing about a revolution in our film industry?
Bol is a step ahead of Khuda Kay Liye. There is no hard-line against
anyone in Bol. It conveys the right message, though the interpretation
may vary from viewer to viewer.
Any memorable incidents on the sets?
While we were shooting at a girls’ school in Lahore, the students would
come out of their classes and look through the windows. Of all the
students running round, a girl injured her head. We then had to put up
tents around the shooting area to prevent anybody from looking inside.
What kind of a soundtrack does Bol have?
I like the music. I have composed it myself, specially the song, Hona
Tha Pyar. I would like to thank Shiraz Uppal because he arranged all of
the music. He is very good to work with as he listened to what I needed
Khuda Kay Liye was a musical film, how does Bol’s music compare to it?
I really like Sajjad Ali and I think his music comes off excellent on
the big screen. Bol is not a musical, it is the lighter and happier side
of the film. Khuda Kay Liye completely revolved round music.
What message would you like convey to your fans through the film?
I thank everyone for supporting me and convincing me to do the film. I
would like all my friends and fans to go and watch it not in the
perspective of my debut film, but in the perspective of gaining
knowledge about certain issues.
[VIA INSTEP 19-06-2011]