36 Fun questions with Pakistan’s favourite Hollywood Celebrity-Faran Tahir.
Pakistan’s film and tv industry has progressed and evolved tremendously in the last few decades. The kind of talent we possess whether it be in music, art, or theatre is undoubtedly recognized globally. One such fantastic find is Faran Tahir who has successfully carved a place for himself in Hollywood with his sheer hard work and commitment. He has been working in Hollywood for over 25 years and has starred in blockbuster movies such Star trek, Iron Man, Torn, Charlie Wilson’s War, Escape plan and many more. He made his debut appearance in the Disney’s 1994 live-action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle book, playing the role of Nathoo-Mowgli’s father. Tahir was born in Los Angeles, California in 1964 where his parents were studying acting and theatre at the University of California. He grew up in Lahore but as fate would have it, he returned to US in 1980 where he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in theatre and then went on to pursue his graduate degree at Harvard University. He is a hard core theatre enthusiast and has delivered phenomenal performances across different mediums including film and television.
Tahir has guest starred in several hit television series, including Alias, The Practice, Family Law, The Agency, NYPD Blue, Lost, 7th Heaven, The West Wing, Walker, Texas Ranger, The D.A., 24, Monk, Justice, Cold Case, Chuck, The Blacklist and Warehouse 13. He also appeared in the famous medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy as Isaac, as the Egyptian god Osiris in the CW series Supernatural, as Ruslan Denisov in The Blacklist Season 2, as Detective Terrence Amos in How To Get Away With Murder Season 1 and as Dr. Alan Kobrine in Backstrom Season 1.
He is a highly accomplished actor whose humility and professionalism is truly commendable. I first approached him as a college student back in 2011 when i was working on a project by the US Consulate, Lahore to highlight successful Pakistani Americans and i have been a fan of his craft and modesty since then. Glad we stayed in touch over the years and i am grateful to him for taking out the time from his excruciatingly busy schedule to answer these fun questions candidly.
1.Who has significantly influenced you while growing up?
My biggest inspirations were my own parents and grandparents who dedicated their lives to performing arts in Pakistan.
2. What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love to read, run, cook and spend time with my family.
3. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve experienced recently?
I just did the longest virtual reality project to date in the world. We did HAMLET as a virtual reality experience.
4. What is your favorite sport?
Boxing, cricket, soccer
5. Which is your favourite movie?
OMG! So many. Love old movies…Taxi Driver, Scarface, My Favorite Year. This goes on and on.
6. Who is your favorite actor, and why?
I love Meryl Streep. Consummate actress. You can throw any genre, any medium, any character and she shines.
7. What is your secret super power?
I can boil an egg.
8. What would be a good theme song for your life?
Hahahaha! I guess…..HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT….FIRE AWAY!!!
9. Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
10. What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?
My Roomba vacuum. I always trip over the damn thing at the worst times.
11. A book you cannot live without?
The Fall by Albert Camus.
12. What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?
I saw you on stage/screen. You were really there. Ummm….AND????
13. What’s your biggest screw up as a dad so far?
Adding salt to my broiled salmon with raspberry chipotle sauce. Don’t do it! Your kids will not let you forget it.
14. Where did you grow up?
Mentally, I never grew up but chronologically I grew up in Pakistan, England and USA
15. What were your best/worst subjects in school?
Loved languages and physics. Hated Chemistry and Biology.
16. What were you like as a kid?
17. How were your parents like while you were a kid?
18. What’s your most favourite childhood memory?
My grandfather used to read me all the children’s classics every afternoon after lunch.
19. Who inspired you to get into acting?
Definitely my parents. Also people like Qavi Khan. People who indefatigable strive to keep improving in their craft.
20. How would you describe your acting?
I hope good?
21. Who would you like to work with in the next two years?
22. Have you ever dealt with performance/acting anxiety?
Not really. I always think that energy that I might expend in anxiety can be channeled into my preparation for the performance.
23. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
I met a man in Karachi who unfortunately has polio but he retrofitted a rickshaw so he can drive it. What an inspiration. Proves that we are all differently abled but nothing should hold us back.
24. What would you like to be remembered about you?
That I strove to deal with my failures with bravery and grace and my successes with humility and grace.
25. What is the one message you would give to your fans?
Always follow your dreams but never shy away from the hardwork to turn those dreams into reality.
26. A comment about the existing media trends and progress in Pakistan. I am very excited that we are now exploring different genres, issues, themes. Although we might be at a nascent stage but we are taking risks.
27. What is the one message you would give to the young people in any field of life?
Always do what you are passionate about. It’s the only way you will excel in the field.
28. Recipe for success?
Focus, conviction, honesty and hardwork.
29. What attracted you to begin your career as an actor?
You find empathy when you walk in someone else’s shoes for a while.
30. How hard it was for you to get into Hollywood? Did your ethnicity/background create any hurdles for you?
It wasn’t easy but every stumble, every setback was always fuel to my fire. I don’t get discouraged I get defiant
31. What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
That I make my living doing what I truly love.
32. Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favorite?
I always say that it should always be that last role you did. You must always put your 110% in your work. Whether it is a success or not you must give it all you have got.
33. Have you progressed in your acting career as you have expected?
I am blessed that I have been able to keep my film, television and theatre alive simultaneously.
34. Which social media app you absolutely hate using?
All of them. I am so bad at marketing myself. I know in this day in age it’s a great way to connect with people but I always rely on people to come join me. I just can’t focus on trying to collect people for the sake of numbers. I do love when people join me on social media because I do love talking to people so come friends join me and let’s have fun together.
35. Describe living in USA in one word.
36. What’s the downside of being a celebrity?
I am a very private person.
The above interview is also published at Galaxy Lollywood.