Having become notorious for playing characters that are aggressive and controlling towards the women in their lives, actor Feroze Khan is no stranger to criticism and scrutiny for choosing the roles he does. However, while sitting down with BBC News, Feroze reveals that there is more to his characters than meets the eye.
Describing the on-set dynamic while filming Habs, Feroze says, “The people involved in the drama Habs have worked on it with a lot of care and love, putting their differences aside when they have to appear on-screen. We do have a lot of differences between us. When it comes to a workplace, conflicts are inevitable. And I believe that if conflict doesn’t happen, then it makes no sense because that means you aren’t doing it with your heart.”
Limiting the number of projects one does every year means carefully filtering scripts according to what works for you. Describing his own thought process behind selecting scripts, the Ishqiya actor explains, “When picking a project, I first see how that project may help someone, and I just need that justification for myself, not anyone else. If I believe a project may help society in any way, then I take it up. And if I believe the project will only be a mere appearance for around 30 weeks on television, then I don’t want to do that. I want to do something that brings a change in society, that makes sense to me before anybody else.”
Feroze also responds to the criticism his character Basit has faced in the popular drama series, Habs, which stars Ushna Shah as his romantic lead. “With Habs, if people continue to like my character Basit, then there must be a lot within his story that can contribute to change in society. Basit isn’t toxic, doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke. He doesn’t misuse his power or wealth, like having guards follow him around or using his power and status to force women. What other better qualities could one look for? In today’s society, even all of this is more than enough,” the actor explains.
The Khuda Aur Mohabbat 3 actor also has a defined notion towards the portrayal of men on local television, saying “I think in dramas, a man should not be depicted as an animal every time. This creates an image in our society that if a man is standing beside you, he is bound to hit you, insult you, and destroy your life.”
Referring back to his previous roles which have faced similar criticism, he adds, “I have also played characters like Azar in Chup Raho, Mir Hadi in Khaani and Mustajab in Aye Musht-E-Khaak who you can say are toxic, but they have never had an ending where their actions were glorified. In the end, they could never use their power to escape the consequences of their actions. They paid for their crime and their wrongdoings.”
Reminiscing an old memory with a close friend, the actor explains how the male characters raising their hands has been misconstrued by the audience. He explains, “One of my close friends once called me and said, ‘Ab to tum gaye (You’re now gone).’ She continued to say I shouldn’t have raised my hand in the drama. I was confused because how have I raised my hand? There was a scene in which a conflict arises, there is frustration, and two characters begin to fight with each other. What does raising my hand have anything to do with it? She said, ‘This doesn’t work, and I think you’re welcoming trouble towards you.’ I responded, ‘I don’t think so.’”
The Woh Aik Pal actor continues, “To my understanding, people love passion play. They watch films such as 365 Days, which is one of the most Googled and watched films in Pakistan. They read Fifty Shades of Grey and make it the best novel. And they hate it when someone does the same thing while being upset out of fearing the loss of love? Why? And why do they label it like that, that you can judge someone’s entire character through one action of theirs?”
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