Not many Pakistanis have managed to make a place for themselves in Hollywood, the way Faran Tahir has in his illustrious career. From being the villain who prompted Tony Stark to become Iron Man to the Captain who promoted Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot to the guy who played the action hero as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger continued with their Escape Plan, Faran Tahir has been there, done that. And now he is coming to Pakistan to perform on stage for the first time in Karachi, both as a director and as an actor alongside his younger brother Ali Tahir.
The play Bhai Bhai will be staged at Karachi’s Arts Council from 3rd February and will stay for a couple of weeks. The stage play will also mark the debut of the versatile Hina Dilpazir who has become a household name due to her iconic performances on TV, including Momo in Bulbulay. Aamir Qureshi, son of the legendary Mustafa Qureshi, and a talented actor in his own right will complete the main lead of Bhai Bhai, making it a must-watch play for the fans of these actors as well as theatre enthusiasts who live for live performances.
The play is an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s iconic comedy True West and will be presented in Minglish so that it can cater to both the young and old alike. Produced under the banner of Tahir Entertainments, Bhai Bhai revolves around the story of two estranged brothers played by real-life brothers Faran and Ali Tahir. Faran Tahir’s Buddy will help out Ali Tahir’s Boney (reminds us of his iconic character Johnny from Teen Bata Teen) in completing a script for his producer Nazir Zaigham (Aamir Qureshi) who aims to sell it to Netflix. And then there is the character of (Hina Dilpazir) that adds more mayhem to the confusion that arises from the situations that the brothers create.
One must not forget that both Faran and Ali Tahir are grandsons of the legendary playwright Imtiaz Ali Taj who was not only one of the pioneers of Urdu theatre but also penned the iconic Chacha Chakan stories as well as the play Anarkali that was later remade as Mughal-e-Azam. It will also be a huge moment for their parents Naeem Tahir and Yasmin Tahir who have been associated with Pakistan Television for over 50 years.
For Ali Tahir, performing with his elder brother in itself is a huge achievement, that too on stage. ‘It’s a huge deal for me to be working together with Faran; I am more excited than nervous as I know that we are going to have fun there.’ Ali Tahir says as he talks about working with his brother who has vast experience of Broadway and Hollywood. ‘We already have a chemistry that can be translated on screen and that’s giving me the kick; it’s my pleasure to have him as a director as I am learning a lot from him and the techniques that he is using. The way he is adding layers to this comedy – at times it gets insanely funny and at times it gets a little emotional – that’s what makes this an interesting play. The way we travel through these emotions, happiness, nostalgia, that’s the beauty of this play and the credit of all that goes to the director for bringing it out through light settings and characterization, moments we miss in theatre.’
On being part of a cast that has loads of experience to their credit, Ali says that it’s always great when the actor in front of you is strong, as it helps in bringing out better performances. ‘I don’t take pressure as an actor of having a good actor in front of me.’ Ali who has been around for the last 25 years says as he talks about his co-stars. ‘I always think of it as an opportunity because the better the actor, the better the chances of good performances as you can only bounce off dialogues and give reactions when the person in front of you is at par, otherwise the performance would get dull.’
‘As for working with Aamir Qureshi, we wanted to work together for a long time and luckily, we are pulling it off now. He is not only a talented actor but my best friend who has been part of a lot of amazing dramas and films over the years. I have worked with Hina Dilpazir on TV but we will be working for the first time on stage. She has a great following because she is one of those actors who, even if she delivers one line, will make the crowd laugh. She leaves you awestruck with her performances and I am hopeful that this play will be no different.’ Ali Tahir concludes as he rushes to the rehearsals of the play that is all set to open next week.