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For me looks don’t matter, character does: Imran Ashraf

Known for taking up challenging roles and doing diverse characters, actor Imran Ashraf is finally getting his due credit after struggling for almost 10 years in the TV industry.

In a recent interview with BBC, he opened up about his struggle and reflected on why art is more important than just mere looks. “I’m overwhelmed by the response I am receiving from all across the globe,” he shared.

From playing a transgender to a mentally challenged man in dramas, Ashraf won the hearts of the audience with his impeccable performances. He struggled to be cast as a lead actor and was only offered supporting roles until two years ago when he got the opportunity to play a transgender. He calls it a turning point of his career.

Ashraf said his roles in the recent past has made a difference and helped change society’s attitude towards mentally challenged people and this is exactly what he aims to achieve through his work.

Speaking about if he is a method actor or not, he revealed he doesn’t know what he is but is quite observant. “Observation is  a prerequisite of acting.. when I do a character, I start living in it. I start believing as if I was born this way,” he said.

He added that for him “Looks don’t matter but character does. My performance is beyond acting and I think now I am serving society with my performances.”

“Art doesn’t need six packs, deep eyes and pretty hair,” he reiterated. Ashraf said he faced ridicule and was initially skeptical of taking up unconventional roles but he always had this thought process that you don’t have to be conventionally good-looking to be a hero.

On whether other actors are willing to do diverse characters, Ashraf said that “We don’t have shortage of talented actors, Pakistan is full of talent. I think overtime they will choose challenging roles, it will become  a necessity.”

Ashraf has plans to highlight other prevalent social issues and show different sides of men in Pakistani dramas through his writing.

He thanked people for being with him and making noise for him to be noticed and given due credit by the industry.

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