Interviewed By: Asif Khan
My meeting with rising actor Shan Baig has been nothing short of a revelation as he successfully proves that the new wave of actors has a lot more to offer than just good looks. Passionate, endearing but a little kid at heart, Shan Baig has quietly but assuredly transformed himself into an actor of substance. He made his onscreen début with telefilm Rok do Shadi and became successful in striking a chord with everyone in the industry and then offers from right, left and center started chasing him hastily. In serials like Babul ka angna, Roshi, Manjhdhar, Isha ya rabba, Hum usi ke hain, Malamir, Glas tora bara ana, Thora sa haq and now very popular Web Series “Enaya”, he fleshes out each role making it sound real. Sans any perceptible guard in place, Shan speaks candidly with Social Diary and unfolds many latent aspects of his life and career.
Please share the story of your road to becoming an actor.
It’s a long story but to cut it short I had a friend from India who motivated me to move back to Pakistan from Chicago where I was doing business and convinced me to start acting and be a part of fast evolving Pakistan entertainment industry. I was introduced to Pheby Haroon by a friend who auditioned me for a telefilm “Rok do Shadi” and next thing was the news that I bagged the role.
How did the local showbiz fraternity react to your presence?
I’ve had a great experience up till now and I hope it continues the same way.I have made many friends in the fraternity and most of them have been pretty kind to me.
What does it take to be a successful actor?
For me, it would be experience that matters the most which you gain by traveling and meeting different people from various ethnicities. Secondly practicing your craft would make you perfect in it. If you do these two things positively then you will find yourself heading to the right direction.
What kind of scripts attract you as an actor ?
Mostly I prefer scripts offering complex and challenging roles and characters to portray along with the ones which disseminate a positive message to the audience.
How do you conceive a character when offered?
I believe that imagination plays a key role in order to create a specific character. So the stronger the imagination the better your access towards the character would be.
You have been found refraining from being typecast in similar roles. So what price have you paid for being a choosy actor?
I want to get better than I have ever been and I will continue to tell myself that I can do it, no matter what the odds. I personally take my job very seriously and there is a fine line between what you should do and what you shouldn’t. So for the characters that don’t enlighten me or put me in a state where I can broaden my imagination towards them, I don’t dwell into that terrain . The only price, in the end, that you pay, is to wait for something worth doing.
Has the journey of your transition from modeling to acting, been proved a roller coaster ride, for you?
In my case, it’s the other way around, I started off my career with acting and then stepped into modeling for a few ramp walks, just to have a flavour of that side of showbiz. and by far that too, went pretty well for me.
What is the biggest misconception about you that you often come across?
That I’m socially well-connected, being the reason, why I get work. To clear that out, trust me on this NOBODY gets you anything, only hard work, consistency, talent and may be a little bit of luck could do that for you.
Are you satisfied with the present league that is taking drama ahead?
I believe that there is room for so much improvement, so much talent out there which doesn’t get a chance to deliver. There’s nothing wrong with the current league but more people should get chances to show their talent. We need to start using better equipment in our dramas and we need to give time to our technical staff on set to perform their duties to make the set fully equipped. We have good content and our standards of acting and quality of the drama is tremendous but our production value has much more room for improvement.
Don’t you think besides having hundreds of channel our drama still lacks that punch that has been our trade mark.
Our industry is finally getting there by day, it will take some time but we shall eventually be the best in the world as far as the drama is concerned, but not to confuse it with web series and seasonal shows.
What projects are you having in hands?
I have two projects in the pipeline and both are for well reputed channels. Hopefully, the shooting will start as soon as the global pandemic situation comes to an end.
What are your aims for the big screen?
I am seeking for the right script, hopefully my fans wouldn’t have to wait too long. Insha Allah.
You seem to be a focused gym buff and there could be no better fitness ambassador than you. What’s your fitness regimen and peculiar interests?
Showbiz is a visual medium and I have to look after myself. I love to work-out and when I get time, preferably I do cardio and running is one of them.
Where do you see yourself, let’s say five years from now?
I would want to see myself as a successful actor, more than that a pious, wiser and a generous human being, a great father and a loveable husband to my beautiful wife.
Most of the aspiring actors fail to make it big. What do you have to say to the young strugglers?
If you really have the passion for it than you must be consistent in what you’re doing and never give up on your goals. Professional actors shoot for hours and sometimes a single TAKE might eat half of the day. Keep doing what you’re doing and with each passing day try to better than what you were yesterday. I always tell new comers that this is like a test match of cricket not a T20, so you gotta keep playing. You will hit those sixes at some point in the game.