Item numbers are a borrowed trend from India: Hamza Ali Abbasi

Item numbers are a borrowed trend from India: Hamza Ali Abbasi

The actor caused a stir when he applauded Zhalay Sarhadi for her "decent" item number in Jalaibee
11 Sep, 2015

Hamza Ali Abbasi is no stranger to controversy.

The actor has come under fire many times in the past for his penchant for writing exactly what he feels on his Facebook account, mostly because his words have been misunderstood.

Read: Facebook apologises, says removal of Hamza Ali Abbasi status was mistake

Another such incident happened recently when Abbasi updated his status, congratulating Zhalay Sarhadi for not “taking her clothes off” in her item number for Jalaibee.

Read: This sneak peek at Jalaibee's 'item number' raises expectations

His status was blown out of proportion, with the media claiming that the director was making a jab at his friend and colleague from the fraternity, Ayesha Omar, who's teaser for an upcoming item number was also released around the same time.

"Should I tell you something funny? I didn't even know that the preview for the item song had been released. It had nothing to do with Ayesha though! I personally wanted to show appreciation for Zhalay, who gracefully pulled off doing an item number while wearing decent clothes," shares Abbasi while talking to

He adds: "Item numbers don't define the success of a movie. Khuda Ke Liye, Bol and Waar revolutionized our cinema and none of those movies had an item number. Filmmakers have a responsibility to depict our society in a realistic manner. When you can't even go to the poshest areas in the country wearing the same clothes that the women in item numbers wear, that's not a fair picture you paint of our culture."

After facing the backlash from the media, the actor updated his status on Facebook to clarify his stance.

Hamza further went on to say that we, as a nation, have become way too influenced by Indian culture.

"We are so unique as an industry, as a country. I don't understand why we feel the need to borrow an identity from Bollywood. Wearing an ultra-mini skirt is not the norm here so what are we trying to portray while showing that in item numbers?"

As far as his status being aimed at Ayesha Omar is concerned, the Pyare Afzal star says "Anyone who knows me, knows how blunt I am. If it was directed towards Ayesha, I would have specifically said Ayesha. I don't imply anything, I'm pretty straightforward."

Where do you draw the line?

Talking about how he was dubbed a hypocrite, Hamza explains: "I, myself, am ashamed of the way my thinking has evolved. There was a time when a girl wearing a crop top in a movie made us lower our eyes. Now, physical intimacy is shown to be the norm. We sit and watch these movies with our parents without flinching."

His upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani was shot in Bangkok and is said to be a modern movie with many musical numbers.

The ensemble cast of Jawani Phir Nahi Aani. —Photo courtesy: Showbiz Pak
The ensemble cast of Jawani Phir Nahi Aani. —Photo courtesy: Showbiz Pak

Read also: Humayun Saeed to release new film 'Jawani Phir Nahi Aani'

"Humayun Saeed (who is producing the movie) is like a brother to me so I agreed to do the movie. It's going to be a milestone for comedy in Pakistan for sure. However, there were exposing scenes that I didn't agree with but sometimes, you have to give in to the demands of the producer or director," reveals the Mein Hoon Shahid Afridi actor.

Abbasi, who also said he considers himself an activist, added, "My status wasn't me pointing fingers at others and saying go fix yourselves. It was an invitation for people and it was me saying come, let's fix ourselves."