With the massive success of Mohsin Abbas Haider’s Meri Guriya proving that his negative portrayal is providing his fans with a new side to the actor, it has also proven that the actor has an immense amount of courage to pull off such a role, which has now worked hugely in his favour.
Read More: I’ve taken this risk too early in my career
How has Mohsin Abbas Haider managed to create such a convincing character and what made him choose the role? We asked him.
“Firstly, incidents revolving around child abuse and rape had seemed to have increased so much that it was all over the news and social media,” Mohsin said. “Secondly, becoming a father and losing my daughter, I understood what it meant to be a parent and to experience the loss of a child. I lost my baby girl due to medical reasons and yet the pain was unbearable. But, to think that people lose their children to abuse and similar crimes like Zainab Ansari from Kasur, shattered me. The pain was unimaginable.”
Read More: Will ‘Meri Guriya’ become the new ‘Udaari?’
Mohsin also felt he could take out his anger through this project; by punishing the character and making people believe in justice. “Parents need to be educated, they need constant reminders that they need to listen to their children more often than they currently do.”
However, while the play may have been cathartic in a sense for the actor, it has also been a difficult journey.
“It was depressing,” Mohsin explained. “We had difficulty moving forward and reading our scripts after performing certain scenes. Sania Saeed would actually be crying after her scenes and I would find difficulty in even looking at the little girl. Initially, I shot my scenes in an empty space because I just couldn’t act standing in front of the child. She’s just like a daughter to me, and thinking how there are real cases like these made it intolerable.”
Speaking of training involved in playing such a character, Mohsin revealed that he and the director, Ali Hasan would have long discussions and even study the research available on the internet regarding sex offenders.
“Earlier we thought our audience isn’t mature enough to differentiate between the actor and the character. However, I’m glad that is not the case!” Mohsin said. “While some people told me they hear others say they hate looking at my face because they see Dabeer in me, many have been successful in hating the character without hating me. ”
As for difficulties faced during a project this tough, Mohsin said it’s been more difficult emotionally than it has been physically. Being a father and contrastingly playing a pedophile, has been the toughest.
Here’s wishing the actor some success in eradicating such an evil from the society with help from the show and of course, a recovery from the trauma this role has caused!