“Film is at a beautiful stage. We are discovering and reinventing ourselves. We are finding new strengths and shedding our weaknesses.”
- Tell us about the difference between dramas and movies?
There is a massive difference. For starters, movies are a bigger production and a much longer process. The most satisfying part about acting in films is that you have more room for character development. It allows you to be more creative. Dramas on the other hand are really fast. We shoot ten to fifteen scenes a day. Because it needs to be wrapped up quickly, you have to move like a machine. Dramas have a larger outreach of course, but through films you can tap into an international audience.
- Taking Pakistani films global, is that one of your biggest aspirations?
Most definitely, in fact that is something I am very passionate about. Displaying your creativity to an international audience is crucial, especially at a time when Pakistan is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Now is the time for Pakistani films to create its space on a global scale. We have beautiful stories to tell the world, and now that Pakistan’s film industry is on the rise, it is time to start telling our stories we haven’t told yet.
- Where is Pakistani cinema at now?
Film is at a beautiful stage. We are discovering and reinventing ourselves. We are finding new strengths and shedding our weaknesses. Pakistan is producing good quality films at a low budget, which shows how good we are. I feel that the public is becoming more enthusiastic about movies, which is why you see cinemas popping up all over the country.
- What is your biggest strength?
I observe well, and I listen. I also believe I accept my limitation, but at the same time I work very hard on them. I don’t think I can ever be the best. I am my own worst critic, and I will not allow myself to feel like I am the best, as that will make me vulnerable to complacency.
- How do you feel about the attention you get?
I appreciate the attention. I love it when people appreciate my work. I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given. I adore my fans, and it is their love that drives me.
- How do you handle criticism?
I don’t mind criticism, provided it is constructive and not baseless. There is a fine between being constructive and being nasty. If it is the latter, I can easily block it out.
- What do you say to people who think that Pakistani movies tend to drag on?
I think we are still learning the art of script writing. We need tighter scripts, which can condense a story to two hours. We have a thriving drama industry, but we are not used to condensing films. I believe it is a learning process, and it is only a matter of time before we master it.
- How do you feel about the quality of directors?
There are some fantastic directors in Pakistan. What makes them so good is their humility. They listen to the right people, and they take their suggestions on board.
- How supportive have your family been?
They have been absolutely wonderful! I could not have done it without them. They have always pushed me to reach for the stars. I am so grateful that I have such a kind and understanding family.
- What’s next for Ali Rehman?
I still have plenty I want to accomplish. There will be more movies, more dramas, and I would love to get back to theatre at some point.
- If you could come back as one actor, who would it be? Robert De Niro
- What do you do to stay fit? I eat as well as I can. I don’t have time to go to the gym as often as I would like. I have gained a little weight this year, so I need to hit the gym fast.
- Your funniest Co-star? Mojiz Hasan! He is absolutely hysterical.
- If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you would be? I would most likely be in the same industry, a director perhaps.
- Would Bollywood ever be an option for you? Yes, if I got the right script I would definitely consider it.
- Your favourite restaurants in Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad In Islamabad it is Sakura. In Lahore, Andaaz, and Karachi, it has to be Xander’s.