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From Ashar to Prince Vikram — Pakistan's Khan first!

Updated February 02, 2015

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Fawad as the brooding Ashar in Humsafar (L), chirpy Zaroon in Zindagi Gulzaar Hai (C) and the royal Vikram in Khoobsurat (R).
Fawad as the brooding Ashar in Humsafar (L), chirpy Zaroon in Zindagi Gulzaar Hai (C) and the royal Vikram in Khoobsurat (R).

There he was; Fawad Afzal Khan, walking up the resplendent Filmfare stage, suited in Dior, receiving a glorious, coveted black statuette that eludes so many others. This Saturday, Fawad became the first Pakistani actor to win a Filmfare for 'Best Male Debut' and what a coup it was!

We’ve always known that Fawad had it in him and we jumped for joy when he received that Filmfare, a benchmark for cinematic success in Bollywood. We cheered when the cameras whirred towards him and wife Sadaf Fawad Khan on that star-studded red carpet and the many, many Bollywood buffs amongst us are absolutely floored that one of our own is bringing home India’s veritable version of the Oscar award.

Fawad Khan at the red carpet of the 60th Filmfare Awards in Mumbai.— Photo Courtesy: Pinkvilla
Fawad Khan at the red carpet of the 60th Filmfare Awards in Mumbai.— Photo Courtesy: Pinkvilla
Sadaf Fawad Khan and Fawad Khan hold the Filmfare as they pose for a picture.— Photo Courtesy: Sonam Kapoor's Instagram
Sadaf Fawad Khan and Fawad Khan hold the Filmfare as they pose for a picture.— Photo Courtesy: Sonam Kapoor's Instagram

For Fawad is always going to be ‘our’ superstar first, our Ashar and Zaroon before he became India’s Prince Vikram. Long before Indian writer Shobha De compared him to an ‘irresistible Lahori kebab’, we were mobbing him and downloading Humsafar ringtones on our cell-phones.

Fawad Khan stands with co-star Sonam Kapoor.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Fawad Khan stands with co-star Sonam Kapoor.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Social media buzzed with Filmfare images – Fawad with the ‘two’ ladies in his life, his wife and the black Filmfare siren; with co-star Sonam Kapoor, before the event, receiving the award and afterwards. We pored over them and congratulatory messages filtered from all over on Twitter, from Fawad’s co-workers to his friends and fans.

Fawad receiving the award from Sonam Kapoor and Jhataleka Malhotra.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Fawad receiving the award from Sonam Kapoor and Jhataleka Malhotra.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter

A euphoric Fawad spoke exclusively to Dawn shortly following the Filmfares,

“I just feel extremely lucky. It’s the most exciting feeling. It’s been a wonderful year for me and there could be no better way to end it.”

Fawad is always going to be ‘our’ superstar first, our Ashar and Zaroon before he became India’s Prince Vikram— Photo Courtesy: Fawad Khan's Facebook Page
Fawad is always going to be ‘our’ superstar first, our Ashar and Zaroon before he became India’s Prince Vikram— Photo Courtesy: Fawad Khan's Facebook Page

He is, of course, referring to the many milestones he’s managed to achieve over the past few months; a Bollywood début with Khoobsurat last September, followed by a ‘Best Début’ win at the Masala Awards in Dubai, a ‘Fresh Face of the Year’ award at the Hello! India awards in Mumbai and closer to home, a Lux Style Award for his role in the drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai. The Filmfare serves as delectable icing on Fawad’s glorious cake.

“I think the Filmfares are the most prestigious awards in South-East Asia and I am just enjoying the moment.”

Read more: Fawad Khan: Pakistan’s most Khoobsurat

What's next for Fawad Khan?

One would have expected him to be out celebrating his win, but Fawad spent the day following the awards in hours-long script narrations. He is in India for a very short trip and it makes sense to have meetings, read scripts and work towards making that all-important decision on what his next project should be.

“I just feel extremely lucky. It’s the most exciting feeling. It’s been a wonderful year for me and there could be no better way to end it.”

There have been plenty of rumours floating about, of him getting signed on opposite Kareena Kapoor and of a future project with Waar director Bilal Lashari but Fawad says that nothing is confirmed at the moment.

“I am the worst strategist ever,” he laughs. “I am in no hurry to sign on to a movie just because I have just won a Filmfare. There are some projects that I am considering at the moment, both in India and Pakistan, but nothing’s final yet. I haven’t even decided what genre I’d like to work in, it could be anything that stimulates me.”

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Post his award-winning spree, does he feel the pressure of living up to expectations?

“I am always scared when I start something new. That hasn’t changed,” he says.

There’s no overconfidence here. Fawad, despite the consistent accolades showered on him, remains the same – a tad reserved, careful with his words, focusing on the future when he could be blowing his trumpet about the present.

And while he may feel trepidation about his next project, there is no denying that Fawad is an exemplary actor. We’ve seen him smoulder as TV’s favourite brooding hero and also perfect the royal prince in Khoobsurat, making a role that could have easily gotten faded into the woodworks, stand out.

Coupled with the fact that his only major contender for best male debut at the Filmfares was the effeminate, pick-lipsticked Heropanti Tiger Shroff, Fawad was a cinch to win the award!

Fawad greets Sonam after receiving his Filmfare.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Fawad greets Sonam after receiving his Filmfare.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Yet, Fawad did lose out to Tiger at other, less prestigious awards ceremonies that took place prior to the Filmfares. Considering that this was the only award for which he particularly flew in to India, had Fawad known that he was slated to win?

“No I hadn’t known and if I could, I would have tried to attend the other events as well,” he says. “It’s just that I have been busy with brand endorsements in Pakistan and wasn’t able to take out the time.”

Fawad Khan with his wife Sadaf post-win.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Fawad Khan with his wife Sadaf post-win.— Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Has he started learning how to dance yet? Post-Khoobsurat, he had said that dancing skills were one aspect of the job that he needed to work on.

“Yes, I was doing that just now,” he quips.

We’re right there with him – amidst all the mayhem and bad publicity that surrounds us, Fawad has given us something to celebrate. We couldn’t be prouder.


Maliha Rehman is a fashion and lifestyle journalist with a penchant for writing, all the time! Log on to Twitter for more updates @maliharehman