Who could have imagined Khalid Malik’s voice to ever be a problem? The well known, deep, voice has woken up sleepy Pakistanis every morning for the last decade or so thanks to his morning radio shows on Fm89 and now FM91. Therefore, when the actor recently revealed this to Something Haute over a telephonic conversation, we wondered why. “My voice was in sharp contrast to my role in Baaghi; I was a little nervous about that at first,” he shared.
Khalid has many reasons to be nervous. For starters, he portrays a very unconventional role in Urdu1’s latest TV serial Baaghi that has become the talk of the town. The show is based loosely around the very controversial social media star, Qandeel Baloch’s life and stars some very prominent names of the industry, such as Saba Qamar, essaying the lead role, Sarmad Khoosat, Osman Khalid Butt and Ali Kazmi amongst others. Khalid plays a hair and makeup artist called Gogi, who is responsible for grooming Fauzia (played by Saba).
“I have worked with Farooq (the director) before so when he approached me for the role, I trusted him to tell this story tastefully. But I did take a leap of faith with such an unconventional character. I kept wondering whether I’d be able to pull it off or not,” shared Khalid when asked how he agreed to do the role.
But Khalid didn’t have to look very far to complete his research for the character. “I’m constantly surrounded by hair and makeup artists on my own shoots so I am in touch with them. I was given the instruction that my character didn’t have to be too effeminate, but I had to get the mannerisms right.
Of course, in this context, it makes sense why Khalid’s deep voice was a challenge.
We also wondered whether Khalid’s character was based on a real person who might have existed in Qandeel’s life. “The character was based on the vision of the director but I am told that Qandeel did have a similar relationship with a stylist when she initially joined.”
The million dollar question of course is regarding Khalid’s experience working with Saba for the first time. “Saba is extremely dedicated and involved with the show. We actually added more scenes of us together which weren’t originally in the script as we went along because the chemistry was great. What I really appreciate about Saba though is that she is very wary of generalizations. She was very careful to point out if the show would ever portray people in the same colour. For instance, there are some good people in the industry too, not everyone is bad.”
The good news is that Khalid will be in all the episodes from now on. “My fans have loved it so far! I was initially very nervous because people can be really cruel sometimes but so far I’ve mostly gotten positive feedback.”
But Khalid thinks that the most important aspect of Baaghi is that it’s changing people’s views regarding Qandeel Baloch. “I’ve met so many people who are now saying ‘I wish we hadn’t said xyz things when she was alive,’. But the thing is that this isn’t only Qandeel’s story. This is a very common story for working class women all over Pakistan, whether they are bankers, doctors, or even social media icons.”