Sami Khan is one of the finest actors Pakistan has produced this century. Currently, he is appearing in two drama serials on TV – Inkaar and Ishq Zahe Naseeb – while his film Wrong No 2 has done extremely well this Eid. Who is Sami Khan and how has he managed to achieve so much during his career, we decided to find out from the actor himself. Here he talks about some of the misconceptions about him and clarifies things that many didn’t know about. Over to you Sami!
1. Sami is my real name!
My real name is Mansoor Aslam Khan Niazi and I changed the name to Sami to make it more showbiz centric. Not only is it shorter than the original name but also easy to remember.
2. Wrong No 2 was my first film
My first film of 2019 was Gumm; since Wrong No 2 did well at the box office, people think the latter was my first film. I would like to mention here that my acting debut happened in a film, way back in 2004 when I did Salakhain that also featured Ahmed Butt (the model) and Zara Sheikh (yes, the same one). I played a police officer in the movie and turned to TV after that, hence people associate me more with TV than films.
3. The first song that was filmed on me was sung by a Bollywood singer!
Sonu Nigam, that was the name of the singer who sang Naina Tere Masti Bhare! The song featured in Salakhain and was filmed on Zara and me. It was shot in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
4. TV has helped me win awards, including the Best Actor one!
I feel that the biggest award for a person is the recognition he gets from others. I am glad that the biggest TV channel in the country Pakistan Television gave me an award for Best Actor for my acting in Ghar Ki Khatir in 2012, the same year I received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for my contribution to Performing Arts. My first Gumm won many international awards including a few that were given to me for my acting in the film while I have been nominated for Lux Style Awards multiple times. Even this year I have been nominated as Best Actor for Khudgarz alongside Qavi Khan, Noman Ejaz, Bilal Abbas Khan and Feroze Khan.
5. I don’t like to work with established actors
People have often asked me about my costars; I am proud to have worked with the best of the best during my career. People like me when I am paired with Mansha Pasha and Ayeza Khan who are no doubt, brilliant actresses. I have also worked in many dramas with Madiha Imam and Sonya Hussyn and could be seen with Sonya in Ishq Zah-e-Naseeb that is currently on air on Hum TV.
6. Had I not been an actor, I would have been a cricketer
Trust me, had I not been picked for Salakhain by Rashid Khawaja, I would have ended up playing Cricket. I wanted to make it to the national side and used to play for my college, university and with friends just to show them that I was better than others. In fact, as a right-hand batsman and a medium pacer, I hoped to make it to the national side one day, but fate had other things in store for me.
7. I am a bachelor and that’s why love playing lover boy
It has been a decade since I got married to Shanzay Khan Tareen. We are proud parents of Mahnoor Khan Niazi who is too young to understand that her father plays a variety of characters on TV, including the good guys and the bad guys.
8. My elder brother came into the industry before me
My brother Taifoor Khan entered the music industry before I did and later moved onto acting, direction and production for TV dramas. He has done a handful of TV commercials as well and continues to direct and produce TV dramas whereas acts as well. Despite him being in the entertainment industry, my family had issues with me joining showbiz, after studying engineering and having a passion for cricket.
9. How I became Annie’s Mahiya is an interesting story
My brother Taifoor used to direct music videos back in the day when Annie Khalid’s Mahiya was released. She came to our house for a meeting with him when she saw me roaming around. Since I was acting on TV at that time, she asked my brother whether I would be interested to become Mahiya for the music video to which he agreed. And the rest is history.
10. I have been playing characters with shades of grey in the last few years
I don’t want to play the lovey-dovey hero all the time, and that’s why I chose to play a villain in Rasm-e-Duniya opposite Bilal Abbas Khan and in Khudgarz opposite Syed Jibran. In fact, a few of my other characters have been both good and bad, and when I interact with people in malls and restaurants, the look they give me tells me that they are hating the villainous characters, which I love.
11. I work in films because I don’t have TV projects at hand
Currently, two of my plays Ishq Zahe Naseeb and Inkaar are on air and I am glad that the response I am getting is huge; in Inkaar I play a guy whose wife-to-be was brutally tortured by a delusional character while Ishq Zahe Naseeb pits me against Zahid Ahmed who plays a person suffering from a split personality. In Wrong No 2, I get a chance to dance and romance Neelam Munir while in Kaaf Kangana, that has been penned by Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, I am paired opposite the beautiful Eshal Fayyaz and Ayesha Omar. The film will be released later this year and I am hopeful that it will do better business than Wrong No 2 that has already been declared a hit at the box office.