In a candid interview on The Knock Knock Show, accomplished Pakistani actor Mikaal Zulfiqar, known for his diverse roles in both Pakistani and Indian cinema, sheds light on the hardships faced by Pakistani actors working in Bollywood. Mikaal emphasizes that Pakistani actors often find themselves in stereotypical roles and are not treated as equals by the Indian film industry.
Mikaal’s Bollywood Experience Having collaborated with notable Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar in “Baby” (2015) and Naseeruddin Shah in “Shoot on Sight” (2017), Mikaal Zulfiqar speaks from first-hand experience. He observes that Indian filmmakers frequently exploit Pakistani actors, either by showcasing their Pakistani identity or by assigning them roles that do not reflect their true potential. According to Mikaal, Pakistani actors should be treated as equals and not subjected to such stereotypes.
Unequal Treatment of Pakistani Actors Mikaal Zulfiqar expresses his contentment with working in Pakistani films and shows, as long as he is treated on an equal footing with Indian actors. He maintains that many smaller roles in Hindi films are not worth the potential mockery and advises Pakistani actors to strive for a level playing field. Mikaal firmly believes that they deserve the same opportunities and respect as their Indian counterparts.
The Impact of the 2016 Ban The 2016 ban on Pakistani artistes in India had a significant impact on the careers of many talented individuals from Pakistan, including singers like Atif Aslam and actors such as Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan. Despite the challenges, Mikaal Zulfiqar managed to make his mark in Indian cinema with roles in movies like “Godfather” (2007), “Shoot on Sight” (2008), “U R My Jaan” (2011), and “Baby” (2015). In Pakistan, he has garnered recognition for his work in popular shows like “Pani Jaisa Piyar” and “Shehr-e-Zaat,” along with roles in movies like “Cake” (2018), “Na Band Na Baraati” (2018), and “Sherdil” (2019).
Mikaal Zulfiqar’s honest insights serve as a reminder of the challenges Pakistani actors continue to face in Bollywood and the need for a more equitable representation in the industry.