Nasir Uddin Khan on his standout performance in ‘Mohanagar’
Born to Monu Meah Shordar and Ambia Khatun, Nasir Uddin Khan's interest in acting had started from his school days, initially at St Mary's School and later at Ispahani Public School and College. He started his journey with theatre and slowly made his way first into television followed by films and finally managed to earn positive criticisms for his role in web series "Taqdeer".
His recent release "Mohanagar", directed by Ashfaque Nipun, was deeply appreciated by the critics and audience alike. In a candid chat with The Daily Star, Nasir Uddin Khan shares his journey, his experience from being a part of "Mohanagar" and more.
You had started your journey with theatre in your hometown Chattogram. Can you tell us a bit about how you stepped into the world of acting?
My passion with acting had grown from my very first school play back when I was in the third grade. I still remember how my father's eyes sparkeld with joy when he saw me on the stage. He had even taken me to a studio to take a special photo on our way back home. Following this passion, I decided to join the popular local theatre troupe Tirjok Nattyagoshthi in 1995. I have spent 20 long years in theatre and it helped me shape up my skills. Being a chartered accountant by profession, I only used to practice acting as a hobby but in 2015, I chose to turn all in and pursue my dream of becoming an actor.
You seem to have experienced a lot of struggles in reaching where you are today. How were your initial days in Dhaka?
After coming into this city in 2016, I had to just sit back and wait for any sort of work for over five to six months. I managed to bag small roles in a few single-episode tele-fictions, among which "Gushti Gushti Kilakili", a television drama in the local dialect of Chattogram, and "Bideshi Bou" managed to help me grab the attention of directors. Towards the end of 2016, I managed to land a small role in Tauquir Ahmed's "Haldaa" and was cast as the lead in Syeda Nihar Banu's "Nona Pani". I was directed back towards the television with an episode named "Phul Phutano Khela" directed by Krishnendu Chattopadhyay from the anthological original series Aynabaji (2017). With time, I managed to land the lead role in Shukarna Shahed Dhemman's tele-fiction "Mahut". This is how my career has been over the years – the graph often reaching the bottom of the paper and again reviving, reaching towards the centre and then the top, despite several resisting drawbacks, disappointments and failures.
You have managed to earn praises for your character 'Bashar' in "Mohanagar" both from the audience and the critics. How did you come across this role?
Director Ashfaque Nipun had seen my work before and he had reached out to me with the character of Bashar – a carefree and bold character who is the least concerned with the bureaucratic hierarchy in politics or the society. The depth of Bashar's character, his careless attitude, the jolliness and the range of this small yet powerful role is what inspired me to embrace this role with open arms.
How was your experience of working with the star-studded cast and crew of "Mohanagar"?
Both Ashfaque Nipun and I shared the same high school, and I had met him before during our school reunion but this was the first time I had the privilege to work with him. Ashfaque used to give us the script only 30-40 minutes prior to the shooting but the way he used to express the character we ought to project on camera was phenomenal.
To be more specific, the shooting for my character could have ended within just a couple of full day shoots, however, he welcomed me to stay on the set and enjoy the place for 15 days. It seemed like I was in a complete picnic mode. Later I realised he was trying to bring in the carefree attitude within my being so that the character looks real to the viewers. By his grace, I had become a method actor even without the slightest awareness of the process. Also, I am older than him but after almost every shot, he used to appreciate my performance by touching my cheeks just as a father caresses his child to show affection and appreciation. Working with him has been a very enjoyable and unique experience indeed.
What else are you currently looking forward to?
I have already worked in 10 films, including Taneem Rahman Angshu's "No Dorai", A Amitabh Reza Chowdhury's "Rickshaw Girl", Mezbaur Rahman Shumon's "Hawaa", Nurul Alam Atique's "Manusher Bagaan" and Raihan Rafi's "Damal". Currently, I am looking forward to a few short films and web projects. Taqdeer marked my OTT debut and then "Mohanagar" came along my way. Both the releases, especially "Mohanagar", have managed to turn my career around. I look forward to more such endeavors which I enjoy playing as much as the audience enjoys on screen.