Emmad Irfani has been flying high since the start of his career. His on-screen persona is so pleasant in whatever role he plays. He has been around for a very short time span, however he has been a part of some excellent dramas. The Mah-e-Tamam actor is currently being praised for his role in the super hit drama serial Cheekh.
Over the course of 21 episodes Cheekh’s Shayan has become television’s favorite husband and we have Emmad to thank for that. The dapper hero has given soul to this character and managed to make an impact through Shayan even though his entry in the serial was late.
Despite his success and popularity, the star remains ever so humble and that was the first thing we noticed as we sat down to talk to him about his recent outing, and what this role meant to him.
How has been your experience working on Cheekh?
When I was reading the script, I was concerned that a character who is entering the drama in the 10th episode, will he be able to make a name for himself? Will audience accept him? But the way the character of Shayan was written, credit goes to Zanjabeel. I also consulted with the director Badar Mehmood regarding his vision of Shayan, how he feels for his brothers and his wife.So I would like to give Badar all the credit as he gave me the answer of all my questions, and once I had clarity I started working on Shayan’s thought and body language.The process involved a lot of effort and over all the experience has been great.
How has been the feedback? You must be getting great response.
I have received an overwhelming response on this, I was not expecting it.You never know what the result will be, all you have is your work and your attitude and hard work.When the initial response started coming in, I thought that we have done something good.However then the response continued to increase. Where ever I go people talk about Shayan in Cheekh, even on social media. I am not even exaggerating, in fact I am trying to keep it as subtle as possible.
For me it was something extraordinary. It means a lot when audience gives your vote of approval, when critics who have always critiqued you,they praise you. So for an actor this is certainly a boost of confidence.
Cheekh tells a different story, what do you think makes it stand out?
The story is different, it has malice, treachery, betrayal. It is not a conventional orthodox story, there are numerous layers to it, many characters, there are conflicts between the characters. Conflicts between brothers and husband wife, how it has been portrayed, it is visually beautiful.There are many layers in the script, it is not monotone. There are surprises in it.The script has immense potential,there are characters like Nayyer Ejaz’s and Noor ul Hasan’s which are very important. They make the story powerful and I think every character has done justice and I think that is the reason for its success.
If you had not played Shayan, which character would you like to play?
(The question instantly brought a smile to his face. We think he had someone in mind but tried his best to evade the question. Instead he humbly replied) This is very hypothetical, the character that I did play, its results are in front of you, if I start thinking about who would I play instead of Shayan I will be lost in thought. I gave life to Shayan, I gave him individuality and my creative touch, so I would say Shayan is the character I would have played.
The drama has such a stellar cast, how was your experience working with them all?
I knew all the co-stars before hand so I was not a stranger on set.My experience working with them was great as they were all experienced professionals, everyone was clear on what their role is in the story, and what their skill level is.So for me, especially with Saba there were many situations where we created an environment in which our expressions and body language meant more than the dialogues. So while doing those scene I felt like two artists are working on a very high level.
This is very rare for an artist to feel that way, at least for me it is , to feel like I have done something good. I am the kind of actor who is always thinking of improving all the time. Saba, Aijaz Aslam, Bilal all worked very hard, as a team we have put in our best effort and the results are in front of us.
Can you share an anectode from your time on set?
There were many. But there was one where we were doing a serious scene where I am telling Mannat that we will win,it is our fight. During one of the takes I got up and I fell down. This has never happened to me on set, and had it been a light scene it would have been okay. But the environment on set was such that everyone laughed and everyone forgot.We have a lot of fun but we also do serious work and stay focused.
Cheekh has set the bar high, not only for actors seeking out good roles, but also for audiences and drama makers who are now accepting intelligent content. Cheekh is one of a kind drama that has wrapped us in it narrative and characters among whom the story has been spread out evenly. Emmad’s presence in the serial makes Shayan stand out and make him as impactful as it was intended to be.