He entered Bollywood with Khoobsurat (2014). But Pakistani actor Fawad Khan was extremely popular among his female fans long before he made his debut. Before Khoobsurat, he had made a mark with TV shows such as Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai.
Although the Kapoor & Sons actor has proved his acting skills with his TV shows and Bollywood films, his good looks often get more attention than his talent. “Good looks are just an added perk for me. It’s probably the cherry and the dessert after the main course (laughs). I never saw it as my strength,” says Fawad, adding that it’s an “ego boost” to hear people call him good-looking.
Doesn’t the constant focus on his looks get boring after a point? “I don’t think anyone gets bored of being called good-looking. We are all vain, in one way or another,” he says, with a smile. The 34-year-old wants to work on “other aspects” of being an actor. “Playing interesting characters makes me feel alive. Else, you stagnate and bore yourself, and in turn, [you] bore the audience too,” he says.
In the industry, Fawad is believed to be a shy person. Explaining the reputation, the actor says that the perception has got a lot to do with the fact that “there’s someone back home to put a foot on my tail (laughs)”. “So main ghabra jaata hoon (I get worried) when someone behaves that way (when female fans express their affection publicly for him). I feel I will get into trouble. Ungli unpe nahi uthegi (female fans will not suffer the consequences). I will be blamed (laughs),” he says.
Nowadays, Fawad divides his time between Mumbai and Lahore, Pakistan, for work. He admits that his B-Town career was not a planned one. “Honestly, it just happened. It’s a privilege. As any professional, you go where your work takes you. I enjoy the process — the journey of getting exposed to different communities in different parts of the world,” he says.
Although Fawad has shifted seamlessly from smalls screen to the big screen, he admits that he “had honestly not thought of it.” Adding that “after a certain time”, the reason for him to “migrate to this medium” (films) was that “I wanted to challenge myself” and “get out of the comfort zone” that he had become used to.
“Also, I felt it was the right time to explore different stories and different medium altogether; and that’s the only reason. I wasn’t looking for any big reward or something. I just wanted to try something new and I felt that by working abroad – and I am sure Indians working abroad also feels the same – you get a lot of exposure and learn a lot and you bring back that experience,” he says.
Interestingly, Fawad feels that among the younger generation of actors, the kind of work Leonardo DiCaprio has done is “amazing.” “He is just going from one level to another. It’s great to see how he has elevated himself as an actor. Of course, I am not as big a heartthrob and as good-looking but I would aspire to follow a career graph like him where you have luxury to choose a variety of films that come your way,” he says.
Usually, actors in B-Town peak in their 30s, but Fawad has started off at 32. “I could have started a bit earlier. I have been in the industry since 2000 dabbling in TV and music. Then, I did my first film in 2008. After that, somehow, it wasn’t really talking off. Suddenly, Humsafar happened followed by all other TV serials like Daastan and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. So, it happened much later in my career. So that way, I have had my fair share of learning. Had it happened earlier, my advent in the industry would have been when I was 25,” he says.