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Friday Sep 30 2022
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Becoming Noori Natt: Hamza Ali Abbasi details epic transformation for ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’

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Hamza Ali Abbasi, one of the most prominent actors of Pakistani entertainment industry, is back to rule the big screen with a starring role in the year’s most-anticipated film, The Legend of Maula Jatt.

After about four years, Abbasi has taken charge to explore his talents by choosing a very different and challenging role as he returns from his acting hiatus with the iconic character of one of the greatest villains of Pakistani cinema, Noori Natt, previously played by legendary actor Mustafa Qureshi.

Abbasi, who yearns to do a variety of different roles, contradictory to his own charismatic personality, is starring alongside Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan in Bilal Lashari’s upcoming magnum opus.

In an exclusive interview with Geo TV, Abbasi spoke of his role in the project that is already being touted as the game-changer and savior of Pakistani cinema while dishing on the challenges he faced in the process of transforming into the barbaric Noori Natt.

“It takes a lot of guts to handle the kind of pressure that comes with such projects but you eventually get the courage to deal with it,” Abbasi said.

Hamza Ali Abbasi dishes on the challenges he faced in the process of transforming into the barbaric Noori Natt in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’
Hamza Ali Abbasi dishes on the challenges he faced in the process of transforming into the barbaric Noori Natt in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’

“… Some very legendary actors have portrayed these roles such as Sultan Rahi Sahib and Mustafa Qureshi Sahib so, as an actor it was obvious to feel the pressure because they have set a benchmark and milestone with their performances,” he added.

Abbasi went on to share that if one chooses to do such projects then they must ‘learn to tackle the challenges that come with it’, also adding: “As for us; me and Bilal [Lashari], we have become immune to it now.”

Weighing in on the rigorous physical transformation to get into the avatar of Noori Natt, Abbasi revealed that it was a “very difficult and painful process” for him.

He explained, “I had to wear a beard and hair for the character and a lot of makeup was involved so it used to take me an hour and a half to get into the getup of Noori and that part was quite painful.”

The actor recounted how his and Khan’s wigs used to fall off due to sweat while shooting intense fight sequences in the extreme hot weather of Lahore, that too, with all the getup involved, making the already difficult process even harder.

As for him getting into Noori’s mind, Abbasi credited Qureshi with helping him out, saying, “As far as the character is concerned, I was very lucky that the legendary Mustafa Qureshi had provided me the basic layout of how the mannerism of Noori’s character should be like.”

“There already was a base present for me on which I built upon and take inspiration from so it became very easy for me,” he added.

Becoming Noori Natt: Hamza Ali Abbasi details epic transformation for ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’

While physically getting into character may have been hard, Abbasi dished that the emotional aspect of snapping out of Noori Natt was never a difficult thing for him.

“For me getting into a character and getting out of a character is really easy,” he said, adding, “I have a clear distinction of what I am in real life and the character that I play. So, I am not one of those actors who need a lot to get into the character. I am one of those actors who snap out of their character just as the director shouts cut.”

This, Abbasi said makes it “very easy for me to play very contradicting characters”, sharing how he was “doing Noori Natt while also shooting for Parwaz Hai Junoon.”

“I don’t have that methodology that I get too immersed into the character. I know when I am acting and I know when I am not acting,” Abbasi stated.

Sharing his own opinion of the character, Abbasi said, “I believe that Noori’s character is 100% grey because Noori is somebody who’s not evil or bad in your traditional sense of the way but yes, he is corrupt for power.”

“That’s what he wants and it’s up to the audience to analyze if that’s a bad thing or not because we have such corrupt politicians in our country and we hail them as heroes.”

Becoming Noori Natt: Hamza Ali Abbasi details epic transformation for ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’

Drawing the discussion to a close, Abbasi shared that it was a huge opportunity for him to play Noori Natt and that he is excited for Maula Jatt to hopefully change the landscape of Pakistani cinema once again.

Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt, which is said to be the most expensive movies of the country, is written by Nasir Adeeb and will hit the theaters on October 13, 2022.