"My character Faizan in Wajood is a pilot by profession," says Danish
"My character Faizan in Wajood is a pilot by profession," says Danish

After delivering one of last year's hits, Yasir Nawaz’ Mehrunisa V Lub U, actor Danish Taimoor is making his way to cinemas with Javed Sheikh’s directorial comeback, Wajood.

His latest outing is an action-thriller that also features veteran actors Nadeem, Shahid and the director himself alongside newcomer Saeeda Imtiaz and Indian import Aditi Singh. Although the trailer garnered a mixed response, Danish seems hopeful and revealed that the suspense has purposely been kept.

Whilst Wajood comes out on Eid-ul-Fitr, clashing with three more feature films – Saat Din Mohabbat In, Azaadi and Na Band Na Baraati, Danish feels the holiday has been lucky for him since a couple of years now.

“Releasing on Eid is an announcement of a big film. But I think it’s great that this many films are coming out on Eid,” he remarked, hinting at the greater good of local cinema.

Amidst promotional frenzy and a grueling shooting schedule for his next television assignments, Images caught up with the actor weeks before the release of his film. The actor discusses expectations, the future of movies and what his family makes of his cinematic endeavours. Read on:

Images: You were one of the first TV actors who decided to turn to cinema completely. What made you return to the small screen this year?

Danish: Unfortunately, we have been unable to produce a good number of movies per year. For instance, this year, I think we don’t have more than 15 movies at most. Most of which were apparently shot in 2017 and then there are only very few that have been announced for next year. Keeping that in mind, TV is the only way left for me to entertain my fans. Also, some great scripts came my way that I couldn’t turn down.

Images: At this stage, what direction do you think local cinema is taking and is it for the better?

Danish: Well, I think for the last five years or so, we’ve been successful in making some super-hits, hits and even, blockbusters. We are surely heading towards the right direction, but still we need our time to try in being more innovative, creative, more technically sound, more cinematically impactful. And yes, we need more efficient producers, directors, actors, writers, choreographers, DOPs, technicians and every single person on a film set.

Images: How did you take up Wajood and what was your experience like working with Javed Sheikh as a director?

Danish: I signed onto Wajood a year and a half back because of a few genuine reasons. Firstly, Sheikh sahab was directing it and he and I have been working together on different projects for the past eight years now; he is like a father-figure to me. Secondly, the story and music really struck a chord. Also, I got a chance to work alongside some brilliant veteran actors like Nadeem and Shahid uncle and Sheikh sahab himself.

Danish with Javed Sheikh
Danish with Javed Sheikh

As far as working with Sheikh Sahab was concerned, I think it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. He’s still so passionate about filmmaking; very hardworking and above all, a great human being.

Images: What influences your choice of characters and what appealed to you about your character in Wajood?

Danish: As an actor, what I do is always very instinctive. I naturally move towards the material that excites me. I always want to entertain my viewers, which is also why I’ve mostly preferred doing commercial movies. Wajood is all and all a complete Eid entertainer for families packaged with a great story, music and cast.

My character Faizan in Wajood is a pilot by profession. I can’t reveal much about the film or his evolution since it’s supposed to be a thriller, but I do want to say that everything is not as it seems on the surface. The nicer a person is, the [darker] elements he or she is often repressing, and Wajood is the unfolding of one such story.

Images: You’ve now worked alongside Lollywood filmmakers as well as new-age directors. What’s the difference and are there any regrets of taking up projects that didn’t turn out as expected, like Sangeeta’s Tum Hi Tou Hou?

Danish: I consider myself lucky to have worked with veterans as well as contemporary filmmakers in a very short span of time. Yes, the difference of vision was there, but I’ve learnt so much from all of them. I guess there’re no mistakes in life, there is only learning and that’s how you grow as an artist and as a human.

Wajood, in particular, was one of the best working experiences I’ve ever had. The whole team was phenomenal, plus Sheikh sahab himself is one of the finest directors we have at the moment. His knowledge of cinema, entertainment, music, engaging an audience, characters, performances – it is on a different level altogether.

Images: On a lighter note, have your children seen any of your films and what does your family think of your cinematic outings?

Danish: After Almighty, my family is my greatest strength. My wife, Ayeza (Khan) understands me really well and I am lucky to have my better half from the same profession since she knows the industry and craft inside out. My son is of course very young, but my daughter Hoorain loves watching my songs in particular and she even tries to copy me sometimes (laughs).