Actor Asif Khan was born into a lower middle-class family. His brother and Khan grew up seeing their father working hard. They recalled seeing their father go to work early in the morning and coming back home late at night. Even with two jobs, the family still struggled.
Since Khan’s family wasn’t well off, they had no electronics or video games, so they used to play on the street. Every evening all the kids would gather and play field hockey, soccer, pakram pakrai (basically, tag) and cricket.
As a child, he loved movies, soap operas, cartoons, and reading books (mostly educational, fictional, drama, and action). “I not only loved movies and TV, but I also dreamed of acting in them, but I didn’t know how to get into it.” “It wasn’t something that was considered great at that time in our family. My dad’s side of the family were all Doctors or Engineers. So, it was like every kid would either be a Doctor or Engineer. Khan always wanted to be an Actor and Singer. At the same time, he had different thoughts going through his head. He wanted his thoughts to be on paper and either make a play or film out of it. “I was and still am attracted to beautiful, romantic, and inspirational poetry.” “I also love tragic poetry as well.” “It has its own flavor and place.” Khan has written many romantic, patriotic, and inspirational poems and songs in Hindi and Urdu. He dreams of one day seeing them published for others to enjoy.
Khan finished two Bachelor’s Degrees in Electronics and in Computer Science, then he moved to the USA in 1998. He landed in Orlando, FL. His first few years, he worked 7-days a week. His first job was at Big Bargain World, a tourist gift shop. After a while, he found a job in the computer field. He wasn’t satisfied and decided to go into modeling and acting. He joined 24/7 Casting as a Model and Actor. He got a job as an Extra right away, mainly because the company guaranteed a job within the first year, or you got your fee back. The job was enough to get him noticed and selected to audition for a full-length feature film, “RoboDoc” in 2006, distributed by National Lampoon.
Khan’s most recent role is of an undercover FBI Agent in “Imperium”, starring Daniel Radcliffe. He would like to do more action and adventure roles.
He has written a few stories that he working on developing into screenplays. One of his projects he is collaborating on with his production team and Blue Star Productions. It is an inspirational story for our times which follows the struggle of an underdog type character as he overcomes ostracism and an unthinkable injury to spread a message of inspiration for all. It is interwoven with a message to never judge a person by color, creed, or origin. Another project is a musical comedy with a similar message about a small town girl and her path to share her talent as a Singer.
Do you feel that Pakistani Actors are represented in Hollywood? “Not yet.”“I think Hollywood has a long way to go in representing other cultures.” “Stereotypes are still seen everywhere you turn. The moment you see a Muslim character in a film, all too often the character is a terrorist or a bad guy. I would love to see more characters that are regular people, just incidentally Muslim. I would love to see characters that change people’s mindsets about Muslims as well, to show the beauty of their cultures. No major religion teaches violence, and it would be nice if popular culture stopped pushing the idea.”
His advice to Actors, “For everyone, this includes kids and adults, young and old. Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes it may take a long journey to achieve what you dream about.” ”Dreaming is always the first step towards your success” “If you just dream about to be someone one day and have no passion in to do that then that is not your dream that is just a thought which came across your mind. Always be humble, positive, respectful to others. Do not judge anyone just because they are different from you or don’t agree with your point of view.”
Khan believes that acting is something which we do on daily basis. We shift from one character to another as the need changes. We act at our work, home, with our families, friends and with our surroundings. Sometimes we act to appear happy when we are not. If we do this consciously, we get to be anyone we want. “This is what I like about acting; Absorb a character into yourself and act like it’s you who is in that situation.