With his distinctive looks and a passionate drive towards showcasing his talent, you would think actor Shuja Asad had it easy to make his mark in the entertainment industry, but he definitely had to face his share of the uglies with major episodes of discrimination and discouragement. Yet, he was undeterred by the setbacks because he knew becoming an actor has always been his vision and destiny. Speaking to Social Diary, he shared more on his aspirations, how theatre work differs from dramas, stepping into movies and more. Read On:
SD: When was the first instance you felt you wanted to go into the field of entertainment?
Shuja: The first time I watched Robin Williams Peter Pan on the projector with my father, I knew this was it. I knew I wanted to create the magic I saw on TV.
SD: Any major setbacks you had to overcome?
Shuja: The biggest setback was starting a career during the beginning of COVID, I had no idea what to do. But God has been kind by giving me opportunities when I thought there were none.
SD: Looking at the way the industry is finally pushing out of its comfort zone to create dramas with substance, is there a specific genre/theme you would wish to be part of?
Shuja: I would love to do an Action/ Thriller drama, considering none have been made so far.
SD: Do you feel nepotism exists in the entertainment industry?
Shuja: Yes, I do, I think we’ve all seen it. I understand parents want to do their best for their kids and help them where they can, but it does make it harder for actors like me to make it in an industry that functions through connections.
SD: You had attained your theatre qualification as well. Do you feel theatre presents itself as a completely different mode of expression?
Shuja: I actually never took a theatre qualification – only attended workshops and online classes. It is a different mode of expression – a beautiful one. It is loud, bold, and artistic in the best of ways.
SD: If you had to choose- which medium of acting would you pick and why- theatre, films, or dramas?
Shuja: Films, for sure. I love the big screen and would love to experience watching myself in the cinema. I think that’s the dream of every actor.
SD: What remains your most inspiring role taken on yet and why?
Shuja: I haven’t yet done a role that I believe is inspiring as of yet. Looking forward to it in the future.
SD: Do you feel your acting prowess has progressed with time? Do you have strict criteria on what character you will agree to take on?
Shuja: Of course, it has progressed. I have learned every single day and continue to do so. As for the criteria, I love characters with complexities and depth. Good or bad, as long as there are consequences and justice prevails, I’m willing to do them.
SD: Share with our readers your experience working on ‘College Gate’?
Shuja: It was an overwhelming experience, considering it was my first lead gig, especially with a cast that big. We all became good friends and honestly had an amazing time shooting it.
SD: How important is it for you to create a balance between your work and personal life?
Shuja: I think it’s the most important thing for me, truly. My family has been with me from the start, and they will remain my priority always. It is hard to find that balance with an actor’s working hours, but I make it work.
SD: We learned you were advised to keep your marriage a secret at the start of your career, any other weird yet hilarious experiences you have had?
Shuja: I’ve been advised to post photos of myself shirtless to attract a larger audience.
SD: You’ve got the chiseled features of a model- would you ever consider taking on the modeling industry as your sole breadwinner?
Shuja: My goal was and is to be an actor. The occasional modeling gig is one thing, but I couldn’t stand it being my full-time job.
SD: What more can we expect to see you in 2023?
Shuja: I’m currently shooting two projects – one for GEO with Faysal Qureshi as my father, and the other for HUM TV.
IN A GLANCE
Kindness. Super rare these days, no?
Your favorite film?
A director you wish to work with?
Christopher Nolan, Nadeem Baig, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Three things you have with you all the time?
My phone, my water bottle, and my chain.
Which season is the best style statement?
Morning Person or Late Nights Enthusiast
Late night enthusiast
If you weren’t an actor, you would have been a
Airplanes and flights
Starting my career late
Most Prized Possession
Jon Snow’s sword
Being happy whenever
Someone you wish to meet
Shah Rukh Khan
Top 3 things on your bucket list
Sprinting on the beach with Tom Cruise
Learning Okinawan Karate
One kickboxing match
The best thing about your work
Becoming different characters
The worst thing about your work
I don’t get paid on time
Your favorite drama serial
What people don’t know about you?
I make great chai