Ahad Raza Mir is currently busy playing Hamlet in Canada and he has been absolutely amazing everyone with his performance. While we hope that he brings the show to Pakistan some day as well, we were excited to know more about it. So we reached out to the man himself to get some details about how it all started!
In an exclusive chat with EPK, Ahad revealed that “Shakespeare Company” is a theater company from where he started off his acting career. It is one of the most reputable companies of North America. However, when he moved back to Pakistan he could not longer work in plays with them.
“They would often call me and ask me to act in Macbeth or King Liar, I always wished to go back and perform however things were going so well here in Pakistan that I did not get a chance to do so. Eventually last August they called me and told me that they are doing a production of Hamlet and that they wanted me to play Hamlet. Actors often get scared and turn down Hamlet. However, the way I see it, Hamlet is a show that you do to prove yourself, so I instantly said yes to it. I asked them to book my flight and I’ll be on my way.”
What do you believe is the biggest success of the show?
I had six months to prepare, the play had 1200 lines in a two hour show, which is a lot. We also realized that in a place like Calgary, we were hoping to pull in people from different demographics who usually do not attend theater shows. We were hoping to appeal the Pakistani and South Asian community through a Pakistani guy’s portrayal of Hamlet.
Finally when the show opened, it was an amazing experience. You won’t believe it, more than half of the audience has been Pakistani and this I believe is the biggest success of the show. We hadn’t thought that these people will come. So many Pakistanis are coming, two three times.
This is good form of diversity as the role hasn’t been played by a brown guy, so how did the idea come about?
Yes we did research on it, Hamlet has never been played by a Pakistani or a South Asian. We found out that in Canada in a professional production no Pakistani, South Asian or Brown skin person has played Hamlet. So this is a huge thing for us. This way Pakistan is being represented on a large scale and we should feel pride that someone from Pakistan is representing them here.
When it comes to rest of North America and Europe we are not sure but it is likely that at the age of 25 I’m the only Pakistani South Asian to play the role.
Your father has recently signed a project with HBO, how do you feel about that?
Yes I’m very excited to see it, I have been gushing about the fact that I’m playing Hamlet, but he has reached all the way to Hollywood!