For those who have followed the career of legendary Bollywood actor Om Puri, his being in Pakistan was just a matter of time. The actor has played a Pakistani on both Bollywood and international forums and has gained popularity on both side of the border because of that. Be it his George aka Zaheer in East is East franchise, his General Zia ul Haq in Charlie Wilson’s War or even his moulvi character in Bajrangi Bhaijan, Om Puri has won hearts with all his portrayals. So when producer Fizza Ali Meerza and director Nabeel Qureshi introduced him to the Pakistani public, he was more or less already a Pakistani.
Om Puri plays a character role in the next flick from the makers of Na Maloom Afraad. The film titled Actor In Law also has Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat and Alyy Khan in the cast and the first spell of the movie is about to be completed in a couple of days. Om Puri’s arrival was kept secret by the producer and rightly so; had it been made known fans from all over the city would have hounded him, something he wouldn’t have minded for sure. “I am enjoying my work in Pakistan because I am being pampered 24X7. From morning till night I keep answering the many Assalam u Alaikums that come my way; some want to take me to their home for dinner whereas the cast is ‘hell-bent’ on treating me to food that is easily the best in the region.” Om Puri said when he was asked to tell the audience about his stay in Karachi so far.
When asked about the Indo-Pak relations and the release of Pakistani films in India, Om Puri gave a detailed answer. “I was saddened when Ghulam Ali sahab was stopped from doing a concert in Mumbai but I could have only condemned it since I am not a politician. Believe me, 99.5% people in both the countries want to live in peace and travel to each other’s country easily. I know many people who have relatives in the other country but can’t meet them which shouldn’t be the case. As for the release of films, I can’t say much as I am just an actor; you should get hold of Mahesh Bhatt who is always travelling to Pakistan.”
Alyy Khan, the only actor in Pakistan who has worked with Om Puri before (in Don 2) was introduced as Pakistan’s adopted Superstar and he will be making his debut with the movie, if Mah-e-Meer isn’t released before Actor in Law. The makers are hoping for an Eid ul Azha release and one can expect it to be a wonderful film, just like Na Maloom Afraad was. The highlight of the unveiling session was the moment when Om Puri said that he had played General Zia ul Haq in a Hollywood film and Fahad Mustafa stood up and saluted him. As for the leading lady Mehwish Hayat, she looked stunning in white and one hopes that she manages to cast a spell with her performance as well as her looks.