Then And Now: Debut Projects That Launched These Leading Heroes

It is no secret that generally in all the entertainment industries around the world, male actors have a longer shelf life. The Pakistani entertainment industry is no different. While there is a good amount of young blood that is currently proving their worth and mettle through various projects on television and the big screen, there is no denying that some of the biggest stars on both these mediums are the heroes who have been here for a while now.

We present to you a list of some of the leading heroes of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Take a look at and see which projects actually launched these actors’ careers and how much they have grown in the industry since then!

Humayun Saeed

Humayun worked as a general manager at a garments factory in Karachi before setting his foot in the entertainment world in the late 80s as a television producer. He made his television debut as an actor in PTV’s Farz Ek Qarz (1994) and was praised for his screen presence. Humayun forayed into the film industry as an antagonist in Samina Pirzada’s directorial Inteha (1999) opposite Meera and bagged several awards for his nuances as a feudal young man. 25 years down the line, Humayun is still at the top of his game both as an actor and a producer. Last seen in the blockbuster drama serial Mere Paas Tum Ho (2019), Humayun’s next project is a film titled London Nahin Jaunga.

Fawad Khan

Fawad Khan pursued his passion for music as a teenager in Lahore. Although he made his television debut in the sitcom Jutt And Bond (2001), Fawad dedicated his time and energies to his music career with his rock band Entity Paradigm, which he formed with Ahmed Ali Butt. After a successful music career, Fawad made his big-screen debut with Shoaib Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye (2007) and officially started his career as an actor. Fawad went to be a part of some of the biggest critical and commercially successful dramas in Pakistan. He even won a Filmfare award for his debut film in Bollywood, Khoobsurat (2014). Last seen in the Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), Fawad’s next projects awaiting release are The Legend Of Maula Jutt and Money Back Guarantee.

Fahad Mustafa

Born to an actor father, Salahuddin Tunio, in a Sindhi household, Fahad started his career in showbiz with the drama series, Umrao Jaan Ada (2003). His role in the ensemble drama was a supporting one but Fahad continued to carve a niche for himself in his following dramas. He was noticed for his performance in Veena (2008) in which he played a transgender. After being part of many successful drama serials, Fahad made his big screen debut with Na Maloom Afraad (2014). Currently serving as the host of the biggest game show of the country, Jeeto Pakistan, Fahad was last seen in the film Load Wedding (2018). His next project is another film, Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, directed by Nabeel Qureshi.

Ali Zafar

Having a degree in Fine Arts from N.C.A, Ali Zafar’s main claim to fame is his successful music career. However, before turning to music, Ali had done a few stints as an actor as well. He debuted with the PTV drama Kanch Ke Par (1998/1999) project is the sitcom Kollege Jeans (2000) After doing a couple of television dramas, he was roped in to sing a song for the film Shararat (2003). Ali officially launched his music career in the same year with a music album. Tere Bin Laden (2010), Ali Zafar’s debut film in Bollywood, bought him back in the field of acting. Post a successful stint across the border, he made his debut on the Pakistani silver screen with Teefa In Trouble (2018).

Faysal Qureshi

Faysal started his acting career as a child artist at the age of 11 with Andhera Ujala (1985). Born to an actress mother, Afshan Qureshi, Faysal grew up with a passion for the craft. He made his adult debut as a teenager in the 1992 film, Saza. His television debut as a leading actor was with Manjhdhar. Faysal played the titular character in Boota From Toba Tek Singh (1999) and the drama was his first claim to stardom. In his career spanning over twenty years, Faysal has received much critical and commercial acclaim for his dramas. Currently, Faysal can be seen in Geo TV’s Muqaddar and ARY Digital’s Log Kya Kahenge.

Naumaan Ijaz

Naumaan worked as a manager at a movie theatre before trying his luck as a television actor. He started off with a brief role in an undocumented PTV play directed by Nusrat Thakhur in 1988. His first documented television play is Fishar (1990) directed by Ayub Khawar and written by Amjad Islam. In his long career, Naumaan has acted both on television and the big screen and has earned accolodes for his acting. Last seen in the A-Plus TV drama Ghamand, Naumaan’s next projects are drama serials Dunk and Raqeeb Se, as well as a Zee5 web-series opposite Saba Qamar – Mann Jogi.

Adnan Siddiqui

Adnan Siddiqui started his career as a model before foraying in the field of acting. His first documented television serial is PTV’s Aroosa (1994), opposite Mishi Khan. Although a minor supporting role, Aroosa introduced Adnan to the world of acting and since then this dashing actor has acted not just in Pakistan but also in Hollywood and Bollywood. He appeared in the Hollywood film A Mighty Heart (2007) which had Angelina Jolie as its lead. He made his Bollywood debut with Boney Kapoor’s Mom (2017). Last seen in Hum TV’s Yeh Dil Mera, Adnan is currently working on his home production, Dum Mastam starring Imran Ashraf and Amar Khan.

Ahsan Khan

Ahsan began his acting career at the age of 17 with a supporting role in the Shaan Shahid – Reema Khan’s big-screen bonanza, Nikah (1998). The film was directed by the veteran Sangeeta, and Ahsan was noticed for his unconventional screen presence and flamboyance. Ahsan also displayed his dancing skills in the film’s famous song, Paani Paani. He started his career as a television actor back in 2003 with multiple PTV productions. 22 years down the line, Ahsan continues to rule the television screen with his diverse roles. Currently, he is seen in the Geo TV drama, Bandhay Ek Dour Se.

Sami Khan

Sami donned the avatar of a cop for his debut film, Salakhain (2004) opposite Zara Sheikh and Meera. He started his career on television with PTV’s Dil Se Dil Tak in the following year. Since then, Sami has been part of many Pakistani dramas across all major channels in the country. He is currently being seen in Hum TV’s Dulhan and Saraab. Sami will be next seen in the romantic film, Yaara Vey which also stars Javed Sheikh and Marina Khan in pivotal roles.

Imran Ashraf

Although Imran has been acting ever since he was a child as evidenced by the recently viral clip which features the young boy Imran Ashraf sharing screen with Faysal Qureshi in Goodbye Reshma, Imran officially debuted as an actor in the Fahad Mustafa – Sunita Marshall starrer Wafa Kaisi Kahan Ka Ishq (2011). He played a supporting role in the drama but was appreciated for his on-screen chemistry with Sonya Hussyn. Imran has worked continuously since then, playing minor or supporting roles in various dramas. His character in Dil Lagi (2016) got much praise and mainstream recognition. His roles in Alif, Allah, Aur Insaan (2017), and Ranjha Ranjha Kardi (2018) got him widespread critical acclaim. Currently, Imran can be seen in the drama serial Mushk. The actor is all set to make his big-screen debut with Mohammad Ehteshamuddin’s Dum Mastam (2021) opposite Amar Khan.

Need more? Check out Then And Now: Debut Projects That Launched These Leading Ladies!


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