Pop star turned actor Junaid Khan has made an impressive mark on television, portraying eclectic characters on critically acclaimed serials.
The lead singer of popular band Call has carved out a successful small-screen career and is currently delighting audiences in new serial Nikah. Fans have been bowled over by his presence in the popular Pakistani drama, which is drawing a cross-generational audience.
Eastern Eye caught up with Junaid to find out about his latest serial, acting, future plans and why he will never leave the music scene.
Which was your first love when you were growing up – music or acting?
I always wanted to go on stage and perform. I guess that was why I started doing theatre and music, but then chose the latter as my passion as I found it to be a much better creative outlet. Music will be my first and last love always.
You had a successful music career, so why did you switch to acting?
I didn’t switch – I am still doing music now and I am currently working on my first solo album. But the music industry overall isn’t as visible as it was before, so it seems that I have lessened the amount of music I used to do.
Which of your serials have you enjoyed most?
In terms of performance and also visually, I loved playing Adam in Mata-e-Jaan. In terms of public response, I would say Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai was the highlight of my acting career.
How do you feel you have evolved as an actor?
Like any field it’s a continuous learning process. I am still evolving as an artist and a human being. The process is never ending, but I’ve been lucky enough to be working with the best of this country, hence the process has been easy.
Tell us about your latest serial?
Nikah, which has just started on HUM TV, is a romantic love story starring me, Sonya Hussain and Sanam Chaudhry. It is a love triangle. My character Rohail is an outgoing person with ambitions to study abroad. His uncle’s unfortunate sudden death leads to him having a nikah (wedding) with his cousin Ayesha. It was his uncle’s last wish, so before he sets off to build his future they hold the ceremony. A few years later, Rohail has some news to share with his family.
Who will this serial appeal to?
The serials usually are made for our lovely housewives, but Nikah would appeal to a wider audience. It will engage the youth as well.
What is the best and worst thing about acting in a TV serial?
The best thing is you become a different person – to portray an entirely different character as per the script is always interesting. I haven’t come across the worst angles of this field as yet.
Can you see yourself making the move to Bollywood like other Pakistani actors?
Of course the big screen is the eventual step that every actor needs to take. So yes, I will make the move when something great materialises.
Do you have any unfulfilled musical ambitions?
I’ve won awards, performed worldwide but still I can never get enough of music. I can’t think of any particular ambition, but I know there is a lot more to do and achieve.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I am not sure, but I guess I come across as quite aggressive on screen, which I am not in real life. I am quite calm and that is maybe because my aggression has been tamed by a musical side, which is actually quite aggressive.
What is your best and worst quality?
I am quite relaxed and calm generally, which I believe can be taken in a wrong way sometimes.
Who are your acting heroes?
I have always been fond of Amitabh Bachchan’s work. The versatility of being able to get into any character has been his best quality.
Finally, why should we all tune into Nikah?
Nikah’s story is one most would relate to, so it will be appealing to watch. Plus the story will grip the audience – they will be interested to see what happens next.