She could have fit into a glass slipper, but she chose to shatter glass ceilings instead. She took the road less traveled; dodged the typical and embraced the unconventional. The diversity of characters she has portrayed sets her apart from her contemporaries and that’s exactly why her career graph has only seen ups.
Despite all the successes, Amar Khan remains refreshingly real and chooses to treat her characters with the same honesty and diligence, adding tremendous value to the role of a heroine.
Right from her acting debut in Chashm-e-Num where she played a blind girl, she accepted and excelled in non-typical roles. She was next seen in Belapur Ki Dayan where she essayed the role of a not so typical witch, surprising us further with her turn as a Hindu woman in period drama Ghughi. Khan took a 180-degree turn with her classic act in Dil-e-Gumshuda, which was a triumph that made viewers and critics vouch for her acting prowess.
Khan is fierce and fearless and I just don’t say this on her choice of doing unconventional roles. When I say fierce, it’s because she broke the norm by playing negative roles from the beginning of her career without fearing to get type-casted. This trait of exhibiting diversity in her work is a rarity in today’s world where actresses are manufactured within a typical mold that comprises of good looks, good apparels, good makeup, and sometimes, good acting.
So what makes Amar Khan the go-to actor to play offbeat roles? Khan said it was a conscious decision to not take up weak weepy women roles that usually do wonders for the ratings. She stated: “It bores me to tears and it’s easy to say no to things that don’t excite me.”
For her, “magic occurs when you play powerful characters like Neelofar (Belapur Ki Dayan), Nirmala (Ghughi) and Alizey (Dil-e-Gumshuda)” she added.
Theater and training gives her the edge
Khan believes training for an actor is as important as it is for a doctor or an engineer. Khan is a film graduate from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, and also went to New York and India to complete courses in screenwriting and acting.
Does this set her apart from others? “I hope I won’t get criticized for saying this so bluntly, but actors today don’t have the vision and mind in terms of picking and contributing to better subjects. It’s mostly about their own parts and outward expressions. The knack for building characters, evoking sentiments, and lending dexterity to a larger perspective is missing. Having said that, there are exceptions everywhere and we have some commendable actresses like Sania Saeed, Nirma Bucha, Nadia Jamil, and Saba Qamar.”
Khan credits theater as the most gratifying experience of her life, “Theater shaped me in many ways, it taught me to be fearless, I learned the art of liberating inhibitions physically and mentally, connecting with the audience and realizing the love affair between an actor and script”, she said, adding this experience has enriched her craft on television.
Ever since Dum Mastam was announced it was surprising to see Khan taking on a dual role as a writer and an actor. While it is indeed an achievement but it also kind of doubles the pressure on her young shoulders. “Yes! It is a big responsibility, but let me tell you, we have put in a huge amount of hard work off the sets too in creating the connection required for celluloid. Mohammed Ehteshamuddin (director) is one person who has never let any pressure get to my heart. It takes a great mentor, friend, and director to sail you seamlessly throughout. Had it not been him, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this journey to the fullest”.
Did being a star kid help?
Amar surprised us by answering this question with brutal honesty. “First things first, I am not a star kid, my father isn’t Amitabh Bachchan and neither Hema Malini is my mother. My mother, Fariha Jabeen has been a hard-working supporting actor and that struggle continues even today when I see her fighting for her delayed payments.” She confesses, “Yes, I got my first opportunity due to her but other than that one has to prove their own mettle to stay afloat no matter what in any field”.
Khan believes in focusing on one thing at a time, as of now, all her hopes are summed up in two words ‘Dum Mastam,’ which is shaping up to be one promising venture as far as reports from the sets are concerned. We hope that the critics and audience will continue to shower their love on the budding big-league player of tomorrow.
As they say, the road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive, and passion, it’s possible to achieve what seems extraordinary to others. Amar Khan has come a long way in such a short time and is certainly not lacking in any of the three departments – all the more reason for her to shine even brighter in the very near future, perhaps right up there on the top.