Ch Moazzam Ishaq On Making A Name As An Actor
Ch Moazzam Ishaq started his acting career in 2016 from drama serial ‘Darr’. He later worked in the television series ‘Khamoshi’ in 2017 with Bilal Khan and Affan Waheed, besides showing his skills in other TV shows.
In an interview, the ambitious entertainer shared his views on a plethora of topics that definitely include Pakistani showbiz. Besides giving tips to young actors, he also revealed the support extended by his family and friends in his challenging career.
How would you describe the work that you do?
All the work that I have done until now showcases my skills, either working as an actor or as a part of the production crew.
Television Channels and movies have been facing a lot of backlash from the governing authorities regarding what should be aired and what not. What are your views on it?
Pakistani films and dramas are always meant for the whole family to sit together and enjoy. There has never been anything inappropriate shown that may disturb the main purpose of the whole industry. If there was anything of such nature, the people would have reacted to it online or through any feedback channel. If the people accept it as an expressive form of art, no one can take down any film or show.
How was the experience working with Zara Noor and Hira Mani? Are the work ethics for women similar or not as compared to the men actors?
I have had a very splendid time working with Zara Noor in ‘Khamoshi’ and Hira Mani in ‘Do Bol’. It was an excellent opportunity for my learning process in the field of acting. I have seen that the work ethics of the ladies are quite commendable and are very focused on the work they do. It was a very diverse experience working with them.
Is there anyone in your family who made you go after acting, or was it your own inspiration?
There was no one from the show business in my family, I spent all the years of my childhood sitting in awe in front of the television and wondering how the world inside the box works. My favorite international filmmaker was Stephen King because of his enigmatic horror and thriller.
From Pakistan, the superstar Mr. Saleem Sheikh was always my inspiration to enter the glamorous and charming world. From his work, I gained the urge to diverge myself into numerous interesting characters and settings.
Which Pakistani director would you look forward most to work for in the future, and for what reason?
I would love to work with Nadeem Baig as he has a knack for making funny movies that everyone in Pakistan of all ages can enjoy.
Do you feel that getting the Lux Style Award nominee and winning the Hum TV Award for the Best Supporting Role are your most significant achievements?
First of all, I am so grateful to the Almighty and everyone who helped me achieve the goals, but I would like to add that I can never let these things get to my head. I do not hope to be a one-hit-wonder who receives a few awards and is never to be seen anywhere again. I would never let any milestone I achieve define me; it will always be my hard work.
With whom have you had a better time working with onset, Affan Waheed or Bilal Khan?
I respect both of them as genuinely nice human beings and actors. Both have never shown me any hostile behavior and have helped me craft myself as an actor. I believe that they have helped me along my course of working with them for Pakistani dramas. Out of the two, I think Bilal Khan is a better company to have around. There is just so much one can get to learn from him. He has so much experience in the field of acting and singing too.
What would you say is your biggest skill that has helped you everywhere?
I believe that this skill is neither acting nor producing; it is my good skills while dealing with people. I have always been humble and respectful towards my colleagues, seniors, and juniors. This has always led me to have the best of every situation.
Has growing up in Jhelum affected your journey in any way? May it be good or bad?
Yes, there have been many ups and downs because I had grown up in Jhelum rather than any of the more prominent cities of Pakistan like Islamabad, Lahore, or Karachi. The main benefit was that I had all the support from my people than I could have ever asked for. The downside was that it was difficult to align my life as an actor and my family life.
Do you have any aspirations of working in international films?
Well, I’m pretty grateful that I have already had a lot of chances to work for international filmmakers. I have acted for Nicholas Donald from the United States. I have also worked as the production staff for two 2019 movies, out of which one, Arc Agenda, was received very well by the viewers. Acting as a profession has always been very controversial and questionable.
Do you think there is more to that than what can be seen?
There are some very solid reasons behind those claims, but in my own honest opinion, a few bad apples do not define the whole lot. Yes, there have been some actors that indulged in fairly unspeakable activities, but I also believe that there are many who have earned a very respectable and well-reputed living for themselves and their families. It is those who I aspire to become.
How is working for international filmmakers different than working at home?
There is no lack of spirited and enthusiastic people working in Pakistan, but the main difference I have seen is of basic work ethic. There are hardly any instances of anyone throwing a tantrum or forgetting to properly learn their lines in my international experiences.
What were the personal challenges you faced while trying to enter the industry?
First of all, I had to make my mind up once and for all that this is the lifestyle I’m going to choose for myself and the ones who are connected to me in any way possible. Pursuing my own dreams and goal would mean that I may have to go against all the hopes and dreams that my family had while bringing me up. Fortunately enough, they were a strong propellant for my ambitions. My friends had been helping me at every point along the journey.
What issue about the Pakistani Film Industry hurts you to the core?
The ugly fact that anyone with enough money can go on and make a film in Pakistan really hurts me badly to my core. This is the main reason why in a list of awesome movies, you get to see such a stupid attempt at filmmaking that destroys the whole standard set by good filmmakers.
What tips would you give to young and aspiring millennial actors?
I would only ask them to come to the set like they would for any other job they could think of. The only rule of surviving in the industry is to have excellent work ethics. No one is tolerated if they are non-serious, even if they are the best at what they do.
Are the Hum Awards and Lux Style Awards the end of your struggles? Or will it be something else you have your eyes on?
Getting to hear my name on both of these shows was a dream come true for me. My future goals include creating a web series for my country and present it all over the globe. Not much work has been done in Pakistan for web streaming services, and I feel we lack behind other countries.
In the end, how has all this journey been for your family?
My family was too good for me, more than I could ever have asked for. This is the main reason I never let any of my work come in the way of me taking care of my parents, who I love and cherish.
The author is based in Islamabad. His writing and research interest lie in the showbiz and entertainment industry. He writes for many publications