The upcoming drama ‘Pinjra’ on ARY Digital seems to be a refreshing change from the typical love stories that we have been watching on television for the longest. The plot is about how parents struggle yet manage the upbringing of their children. It also highlights the various issues that children face while growing up, including social pressure and comparison.
The serial is directed by Najaf Bilgrami, written by late-Pakistani screenwriter Asma Nabeel and produced by Shazia Wajahat under the banner Showcase Productions. The show has garnered a lot of appreciation pre-release because it’s the last script of renowned writer Asma.
The cast includes Hadiqa Kiani, Omair Rana, Sunita Marshell, Aashir Wajahat, Ahmed Usman, Aina Asif, Zhalay Sarhadi, Fareeha Jabeen and Furqan Qureshi. When the cast was first revealed, netizens were quick to question the casting of Aashir Wajahat. Shazia, the producer, and also his mother, revealed that Asma Nabeel wrote the character for Aashir. She said: “Although Aashir was not working for television for so long, his film was in pipeline, but we asked him to do this role as it was Asma’s last wish.”
Aashir Wajahat exclusively spoke to Galaxy Lollywood about his reaction to the script, upcoming projects and his take on nepotism.
Talking about his character Aashir revealed that he plays Azaan, who is the eldest son of the family. He said: “I don’t know if a perfect child exists but in his parents’ eyes he is definitely one. Good at sports, academically strong and well-behaved. Obviously, this leads to his younger siblings constantly being compared to him and he knows this is wrong and will only complicate his relationship with them.”
He said he had a great time while shooting for the drama. “Najaf Bilgrami, our director and I had our visions aligned in terms of what the character of Azaan needed. Najaf Bhai really gave me the freedom and margin I needed to play Azaan.”
Aashir’s Reaction To The Script
He also divulged his reaction to the script and that the character was written for him. ‘Chhalawa’ actor said: “My first reaction to the script and story was that it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s very rare that you see the story of a family or more specifically the problem that arises between parents and their children due to a generational gap. “
He added: “Asma jee, God bless her soul was one of the sweetest people I ever met. She was an exceptional writer and an even better person. Obviously, I felt honoured when she told me she sees me as Azaan.”
Aashir revealed that he was shooting for his first main lead film ‘John’ at that time and had no plans to do television. However, he knew if he didn’t play Azaan he would regret missing out on a great scrip. He further added: “Asma jee told me she had written this character keeping me in mind, I just knew I had to do it.”
Speaking about working with Hadiqa Kiani and Omair Rana, he said: “Working with such powerhouses was definitely one of the highlights of the project for me. Being a musician as well I obviously was a big fan of Hadiqa jee and her work. Omair Bhai is one of the best actors we have. It was a delight spending time with them and working with them.”
He also revealed: “I was friends with some of the cast members from before and it’s always fun working with friends.”
Earlier this year, an upcoming movie ‘John’‘s teaser was released. It showed Aashir in the titular role along with Romaisa Khan as the love interest. The film is written and directed by Babar Ali and produced by Faiza Khanum. The story depicts the challenging lives of marginalized communities of our society; the janitor and sweepers who clean the city.
Talking about the film, Aashir said: “‘John‘ is a project which is extremely close to my heart. We’ve worked on it with a lot of love. It’s my first feature film as a lead so the pressure is real. On top of that, it’s not a chocolate boy role which one opts for when doing a feature film as a lead for the first time. But I think that’s what makes it so special for me.”
He also said that he’ll leave it to viewers to judge his performance but he can guarantee that Romaisa and Raza will blow people’s minds. Talking about working with Romaisa Khan and Saleem Mairaj, he said: “It was a delight. Romaisa is a very good friend of mine and a powerhouse of talent. I don’t think anyone else could have played Maria as well as she did. Saleem Mairaj is a legend and I think he just nails everything he does.”
The Elephant In The Room
When you have a producer for a mother and a director for a father, people are quick to question the ease of entry into the industry. Though the topic is highly debatable, it’s the talent that lets one survive the industry. Aashir gave his take on nepotism. He said: “It definitely exists around us, not just in show business but everywhere. But in the end, you’re judged on the work you do.”
He added: “Ranbir Kapoor comes from a family of performers and actors and that obviously helped him get work initially. But he ended up being the star and he is by giving good performances. In Pakistan, we have Ahad Raza Mir, who has a huge fan following which he has earned by producing good work. Every person should be judged on an individual level based on their talent and work irrespective of the family they’re born in because you don’t get to choose the household you’re born in and every parent would want to help their child in any way they can.”
The release date of ‘John’ is yet to be confirmed, whereas ‘Pinjra’ is set to premiere tomorrow.