Asim Abbasi’s Churails was unveiled on August 11 and has not stopped garnering praise since. Featuring a star-studded cast of four fiercely independent women at the fore, the web show also stars theatre actor Fawad Khan, whose role of a shady yet lovable inspector has left us all floored. Everything about his character is perfect, starting off from how it has been written to the way it has been portrayed on the screen. Talking to The Brown Identity, Khan, a NAPA graduate expressed excitement over the great response Churails has received until now while also weighing in on the time his acting journey first began.
Having graduated from the National Academy of Performing Arts back in 2007, Khan has acted in several theatre productions in Karachi while also being cast in TV serials from time to time. Currently a teacher at NAPA, he confessed his love for theatre but clarified it is not essential for a theatre actor to be a good one. According to Khan, what matters most is practicing and working on improving one’s acting by the day. Speaking about Churails, he said, “Yes I rehearsed a lot for my role. It started off with flat readings with the entire cast to get to know our roles better. Then, everybody was invited to explore each scene and see what we could do better and at times recording the rehearsals too.” Khan’s character in Churails is definitely more than the one-dimensional shady inspector that we get to see. When asked about his character’s motivations and why he does what he does, he added, “On the first day, Asim told me his way of working. He always concentrates more on actions as compared to emotions. It was mainly about understanding motivations by reading the script and understanding the character’s stance.”
The best scenes between Khan and Batool’s characters are the ones which don’t have dialogue, from her being his crush to him risking his career for this person that he barely knows. Reflecting on it, Khan said, “There is a lot unsaid between Batool and I for a long time in the show.”
Churails becomes even more interesting as it gets gritty and real towards the last four to five episodes. This is where Khan’s character really develops too. When asked about whether he was apprehensive about his foul-mouthed, explicit and overtly open character, he stated, “Not at all. I think it has a lot to do with the all kinds of theatre I have done over the years, starting with foul language to everything else. So, I was not hesitant. But it is important for a script to be good. Without a good script, not even a good actor can act.” Khan also opened up about the physical requirements for the role. Khan revealed that while it did not have to do with weight, there were some scenes which required him to have pan-stained teeth. Talking about choosing theatre over mainstream media (which does not have such great actors anymore!) and why there is no healthy crossover happening between the two, Khan concluded, “Firstly, there are a lot of NAPA people who have starred in mostly minor roles. Many of them have started working in the industry. But a common problem that everyone faces on TV is the fact that we need really good scripts for actors to display their acting in a better way. If you talk about Laal Kabootar, a lot of NAPA students were present in it. Churails also has a lot of theatre actors present. Asim has done a stellar job with casting too, be it Nimra, Yasra or Sarwat.” Ending the conversation on a high, Khan quipped, “This Fawad Khan name has helped me a lot. At Karachi Literature Festival we were performing a play and there were posters with my name everywhere and so many people came to the show thinking they were coming to see the real Fawad Khan. But the best part was that everyone liked the play.”
Watch the full conversation here: