Actor Sheheryar Munawar is diversifying his professional palette by hosting a gameshow called Khel Kay Jeet this Ramazan. In a conversation with Images, the Parey Hut Love actor revealed what drew him to this venture and what it has given him.
Munawar posted a preview for his post-iftar game show on March 30, introducing the audience to what lies ahead and urging them to join him. "Do you want to win a house or a car? Play and win my friend! Express TV is bringing you the most fun gameshow in Pakistan. So are you ready? Do you want to win a house or a car? Play and win my friend!" he captioned the video.
The Sinf-e-Aahan actor told Images when Express reached out to him with the pitch for the gameshow, his immediate thought was fear associated with hosting for the first time, that too live for two or three hours. That fear was immediately followed by excitement. "I wanted to do it because I feel once you get out of your comfort zone, you end up coming out of it having learnt something. It was scary, it was exciting so yeah, I wanted to do it. I'm always up for a good adventure and that's how I took it," he explained.
Sharing a weird incident on set, Munawar spoke about the time his Sinf-e-Aahan costar Syra Yousuf was to make a guest appearance on the show and the power went out. They aired "a repeat episode on broadcast" until the power was back and then gathered to convince the producers to let them go live. "Then we all got together as a team when the [power was finally] back about 45 minutes late [and] we sort of fought to go on-air with the show. Those kinds of incidents happen but the show must go on."
The Pehli Si Mohabbat actor said hosting has opened up avenues for self discovery. "To be honest, I learnt a lot about myself hosting, I've always been very spontaneous but being live for two and a half hours, three hours with all of Pakistan watching, with all the audience there I sort of discovered the performer in myself. So I learnt a lot of things about myself — I learnt I could be as spontaneous and fun, and everyday I'm discovering new things about myself."
He revealed that Khel Kay Jeet has a big team that sits together, tests the games out and has a "debrief" after every show to discuss what's going right and what's not working. "So I would say it's a big team effort and everyone's say has gone into it. It's been a very participative process and I really enjoyed working with the team," he added.
Comparing hosting with acting, Munawar said they're both very different. He said hosting is a more spontaneous medium. "You have to be quick-witted, you have to be high energy, you have to be interactive so the demands are different." Drawing parallels, he said acting onscreen is "a little more crafty" and that people are less forgiving when they see you onscreen. "To aapko zyada tikaa ke dena hota hai [So you have to give a more compact performance]. That poise has to be there."
He concluded by admitting that they both have their advantages as well as different sets of requirements. "So I can't compare the two because they're completely different mediums altogether. Hosting is new so it's very exciting for me. So far, it's been a fun journey but the screen has its own charm."
When questioned about competitor shows, the Ho Mann Jahaan actor said he believes Khel Kay Jeet stands out for its increased focus on games and the attitude of the host. "To be honest I think that our show is very different. We are focusing more on the games because in Ramazan I feel people generally like to play games — whether it's cricket or people get[ing] together [to] play board games. We wanted to focus on the game aspect, the playing aspect of things so that way I feel like we wanted to keep it very different from other shows out there. Even in terms of the way I interact with the crowd, I've tried to keep it very different."
He also opened up about competition, saying it wouldn't be smart for him to compete considering the years of experience other hosts have over him. "I genuinely don't want to compete with anyone — I feel that there are wonderful hosts out there who've done this for many many years so competing won't be a very smart thing to do."
He added that he is on a path of self improvement and his only competition is himself. "I just want to carve out a different kind of genre for myself. I want to be able to perform better than what I performed the day before so my only competition is myself. And everyday when I go on-air, I try to outperform myself from the previous day."
People can participate in the gameshow by contacting the number that's ticking on the screens when the show is on. Munawar gave a step-by-step guide. "You dial in that number, give your details, register and then they call you onto the show."