Interview by Asif Khan
D ebonair, poignant and yet temperamental at times, Model-turned-actor, Ali Raza is your typical guy next door when it comes to his offscreen persona.
Having kickstarted his modeling career a couple of years ago, Ali displayed oodles of confidence with a hint of boyish charm that made him the sweet-heart of the leading brands and designers, who wanted to get the buzz going with this undeniable ball of talent.
Instead of going on a signing spree, Ali preferred to be selective and carved his own niche in the industry with solid work.
He has done shoots for major brands , having also strutted his suave for major fashion walks like that of BCW 20 & 21. He has now made his smooth transition into the acting arena with Hum television serial “Bhool ja ay dil” and has set his sights on much more as he continues to explore and expand his creativity.
Social Diary had an intriguing conversation with the rising star to know what keeps him moving forth as he attains his goals through his relentless passion:
SD: Showbiz has never been treated as a profession as parents don’t really aspire that one day their child would become a model or actor? How was it in your case?
Ali: At first, they didn’t want me to get into it and wanted me to be an engineer but after they saw some of my billboards, they felt proud and gave me their blessings to enjoy my life and pursue what I wanted to. However, at the same time, they insisted that I complete my graduation first.
SD: So how did you go steer your career, in line with your parents wish?
Ali: After the completion of my one-year diploma in Graphic Design, I wanted to get into NCA but my father had some reservations about it being way too liberal, so I got into FC College and then Punjab University College of Art & Design to study further.
SD: What image do you intend to cultivate as an actor?
Ali: I would prefer to be a versatile actor, no matter if it is the role of a chocolate boy, angry young man or psychopath, I’m determined to prove my acting prowess with the portrayal of varied characters by accepting challenging projects.
SD: What would be your first pick if multiple films are offered to you at the same time?
Ali: Though I want to excel in every trajectory, but when it comes to films, although I have great fondness for action, tragedy and love stories but I think comedy flicks have more following and enjoy a greater shelf life as these always prove to be a mood changer, no matter what point of time you watch them.
SD: Is there any dream role that you would like to portray?
Ali: It would be of a super hero or a hardcore action flick having high octane action sequences and adrenaline pumping chase and fight scenes, just the kind of roles that legendry Tom Cruise belted out in his Mission Impossible series. I love heavy bikes and even in my first serial, I convinced my director to do some bike sequences.
SD: Who would be the co-star you would want to get paired with?
Ali: It would be a joy if I get Maya Ali, Sajjal Ali and Mahira Khan as my co-stars.
SD: How much support came your way as a debutante actor?
Ali: I was very fortunate that legends like Ismat Iqbal, Laila Zuberi, Mohsin Gillani and Momina Iqbal were there for me with their unconditional support and encouragement in Bhool Ja Ay Dil. They helped me learn the basics from footwork to camera facing; how to pause and give solid deliverance of dialogues. Acting institutes are few and far between in Pakistan, and in this scenario, these legendary seniors are our main saviors who we look up to.
SD: Being a model, how challenging it becomes for you to ensure your maintenance?
Ali: In fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out so it’s really important for us to be aware of the latest fashion scoops, changing styles and how to spot the latest trends before anyone else.
SD: Do you have certain limitations to the kind of roles you choose?
Ali: It’s an actor’s job to fulfill the demands of a character. But being a citizen of a Muslim country with strong eastern values, I have my limitations and I would always make sure that I observe those with dignity and moral.
SD: How do you keep yourself occupied during the pandemic when everything has been shut down?
Ali: I’ve kept myself busy through high intensity workouts and have added the fun quotient; alsi it was gaming that has kept me entertained.
SD: How do you keep your cool when things aren’t working your way?
Ali: I prefer to work out to let the positive energy overcome the negativity element.
SD: One quality that you’d like to change in yourself?
Ali: I want to change my aggression.
SD: Are you satisfied with what you have attained in life till now?
Ali: Alhamdulillah. I’m living my dream and very satisfied in my own skin.