New Delhi: Shy and reticent Pakistani actor Fawad Khan is not having an easy time promoting his debut Bollywood film 'Khoobsurat' as it requires him to be talkative, which he says is out of his character.
Fawad, 32, says he was not aware that publicity for a film in India is done at a huge level, which needs him to give radio, print and television interviews, promotional visits to functions and reality shows, all in a single day and had he known about this earlier, he would have thought twice before signing 'Khoobsurat'.
"This is not me, talking so much about myself. I find it boring. I am a quiet person. In Pakistan, I had consciously stayed away from promoting my shows. When things used to get crazy at times, I would do some interviews because my producers would ask me to do but otherwise I never felt the need to do that.
"Here it is the norm of the industry. You have to go out and promote yourself. It is an exercise for me. Frankly, I am testing myself, though I believe testing oneself is not fair always. But I had to become an extrovert for this," Fawad said.
A popular face of Pakistani TV, Fawad has charmed the Indian audience with his show 'Zindagi Gulzar Hai' but the actor says he had to change his working style for his Bollywood journey.
"Back home, I would come on sets, be quiet and do my work. I was used to that and even people around me were fine with it. But here I come and suddenly everything is so different, I had to come out of my character totally and I would say initially it was difficult," the actor said.
Fawad says he had no plans of foraying into Bollywood and was quite content with his work in Pakistan, until 'Khoobsurat' came his way, which excited him.
"I always maintained that if I get something interesting, which I think I can do justice to, I would do but until then I was happy with things in Pakistan. There was no plan or strategy. Though I believe everything happens for a reason, there was no conscious effort to go and work in India," said the actor, who is testing waters with 'Khoobsurat', which hits theatres on September 19.
'Khoobsurat', directed by Shashanka Ghosh, also stars
Sonam Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Kirron Kher and is jointly produced by Disney-UTV and Rhea Kapoor.
"Sonam is popular, Disney's reach is wide and it's a classic romantic-comedy so it obviously makes for a safe launch in a new industry. I like to read my audience, I like to keep their likes and dislikes in consideration.
"I don't like fans dictating an actor always but as I am here because of them, I feel it is important to see what they want of me. The response to my role in 'Khoobsurat' will tell me what to do next," he said.
The actor, who has been approached for films in India and Pakistan, has decided to stay away from television for some time, even as some think he is acting pricey.
"People might think I am acting pricey because I have got a launch in Bollywood but that's not the truth.
It might even appear unfair on my fans who have loved me for my plays, but I am sure they don't want my death as an actor," the star said.
Fawad wants to stay away from repetitive roles offered to him on TV as he believes he will hit a dead end as an actor.
"I can't completely exit from TV because it gave me birth as an actor but till the time something refreshing does not come up, I would do films.
"TV content needs to grow here. So many great things are happening in the West. I would like to do something like 'True Detective'. If I get a nice love story told in a cinematic way, I would do it. I want to give my fans cinematic experience within the comfort of their homes," he said.
Fawad, who is positive and confident about 'Khoobsurat' given his increasing popularity in India, says he is well prepared if the film fails at the box office.
"If the movie fails, I will just take it as an experience and would see if I get good work in India because I would like to do a lot more here. I am not worried about 'Khoobsurat' working or not as it was an interesting and learning journey for me and I would take it that way," he said.
The actor said he would love to do a big-budget masala Bollywood film but not at the moment.
"I would like to do as many different type of roles as I can. I won't do a 'Singham' or a 'Dabangg' right now. I first want to establish myself as an actor. These stars have already proved themselves as actors. I want to get the act right but later I would love to do such films," the actor said.