This year there were so many male actors who continued to impress the drama viewers by showcasing their skills and craft in roles that were equally impressive. The importance of choosing challenging and different characters to play cannot be overemphasized because only well-written characters can bring out the best in an actor. We truly appreciate the efforts of all those male actors in particular who challenged themselves this year. Even though some of them have been associated with the field of acting for decades but they never stop adding more range to their graph and continue to reinvent time and again.
Performances play a pivotal role in determining how the viewers feel about a certain character. Only an actor who understands the character he is playing and puts his performance before everything else can do justice to a character. There are times when even the most simple supporting characters become easy to connect to when they are enacted on screen in the right manner. While playing a negative role, it is also really important for an actor to keep things real and not go overboard. An actor who manages to do all that makes the viewers hate their character but the audience cannot help but praise the actor. Grey characters can sometimes be the hardest to translate on screen. Also, making the changes in a character’s personality believable as they go through transitions in the story is highly important.
Here is the list of the most impressive performances by Pakistani male actors in 2021:
Ali Abbas (Angna & Badzaat)
Ali Abbas has definitely proved his mettle as a character actor. He is one such actor who is always known for giving measured performances one after another, no matter what the nature of his work is in a drama. This year, Ali Abbas played two different roles & gave convincing performances. In ARY digital’s soap Angna he played the role of Zain, a very layered character who was suffering from PTSD. He was scarred from the childhood trauma his mother subjected him to & unfortunately, it took a different turn after his marriage where he had to prove his loyalty to his mother all over again. Although the drama on the whole did not make a lot of buzz, but snippets of Ali Abbas’s scenes with his outstanding performance did go viral every now & then. He was widely appreciated for such a convincing & realistic portrayal in Angna.
In the drama serial Badzaat, Ali Abbas played the character of Daniyal that he has more or less portrayed before but even then, he gave this character a very different feel & a new edge that actually made his performance outstanding. Daniyal was the villain in the drama but when it comes to the performance, he certainly stood out more than the hero of Badzaat.
Bilal Abbas Khan (Dobara)
Bilal Abbas Khan made yet another wise choice this year by choosing to play Mahir’s character in Dobara. Just like his character in Pyar Ke Sadqay, this one also had so many different shades and challenges. Bilal Abbas Khan made Mahir memorable and an absolute treat to watch because of his phenomenal performance. The character went through so many different emotions and changes, Bilal Abbas made sure that the viewers could easily relate to Mahir’s emotions through these phases. He made this complex, grey character easier to understand because of his acting. Bilal Abbas Khan owned this character; he made the light-hearted moments stand out just as much as those gravely serious situations which at times made us question Mahir’s personality altogether. He is an outstanding actor who understands his craft and always puts his best in every character he plays.
Sunil Shankar (Bakhtawar)
Sunil Shankar is an experienced theatre actor who recently started acting in dramas. He already has our undivided attention because of his realistic portrayal as Sheeda. The character itself does not have the kind of novelty that some of the other characters on this list have but the performance is so organic and convincing that you can’t help but take this character really seriously. Some actors tend to add a comic spin to the most negative characters and in doing so sometimes it is not possible to take these characters too seriously. Sunil Shankar made sure that the viewers do not take his character lightly even though some of the situations are written in a light manner such as when Sheeda is with his friends. There is a constant negative vibe that you get from this character, the credit for which goes to the actor Sunil Shankar.
Feroze Khan (Habs)
Feroze Khan is known to play aggressive characters in most of his dramas, however, in the drama serial Habs, he has not only experimented but wowed the viewers with his subtlety & immaculate acting. Feroze is playing the role of Basit, who has had a traumatic childhood that scarred him as well as strained his relationship with his mother as well as women in general. The way Basit is seen working through his issues, unlearning the hatred he has garnered in his heart to date is an interesting journey to witness. It won’t be wrong to say that despite so many anger issues, Feroze Khan has made Basit’s character believable & likable – making it one of the best performances of his career so far.
Syed Muhammad Ahmed (Hum Tum)
Syed Muhammad Ahmed never ceases to make us fall in love with his performances over and over and over again. We do not have enough words to praise his dialogue delivery and the soul he adds to his on-screen characters. Usually, he is the emotional and wise father in Pakistani dramas. Writers most often make us fall completely in love with his characters and then use his character to gain the viewers’ sympathy by making a tragic exit from the story. This time around however he played a role that was both entertaining as well as inspiring. Daddu handsome was a role unlike any other he has played so far and he made us fall head over heels for this character right from the get-go. He made the fun side of this character come alive on-screen like no other. It was an absolute pleasure and delight watching him perform this character faultlessly.
Junaid Khan (Hum Tum)
Junaid Khan is another one of those actors who chose a different character to play this year and he nailed it completely. His character in Hum Tum won the viewers over because it was progressive, likable, and thoroughly entertaining. The credit for making this character memorable goes not just to the writer but also to the actor who performed brilliantly. This character could have been annoying if it wasn’t translated on-screen properly. We would love to see Junaid Khan performing such roles.
Wahaj Ali (Jo Bichar Gaye)
Wahaj Ali is the kind of actor who performs best when he takes up challenging roles. That is the reason why this year when he chose to play a difficult role in Jo Bichar Gaye, he was outstanding throughout. Rumi’s journey was powerful right from the opening scene and Wahaj Ali made sure that the viewers were right there with him during every single turn in Rumi’s track. An exceptional character and an iconic performance by Wahaj Ali made Rumi a character that stayed with us long after we were done watching the drama.
Talha Chahour (Jo Bichar Gaye)
Talha Chahour is a newcomer to television but he is definitely not new to acting. He had been actively involved in acting projects when he was a student and even starred in a PTV drama a few years back. However, it was only this year that he reached the heights of fame by playing the role of the main protagonist in the drama serial Jo Bichar Gaye. Talha Chahour worked hard on his mannerism and body language to fit Captain Farrukh’s character. His hard work certainly paid off because his performance was organic, powerful, and wholesome. Few actors can emote as well as Talha does. His current performance in Wabaal also goes to show that just like Wahaj Ali; he is not the kind of actor who enjoys doing mediocre roles. He definitely stood out more in a challenging role in Jo Bichar Gaye.
Usman Zia (Jo Bichar Gaye)
Jo Bichar Gaye had so many exceptional performers that it was really difficult for us to narrow the list down to a few names. Usman Zia definitely deserves tons of praise and recognition for bringing a difficult character to life in the drama. He played the role of professor Arjeet in the drama and had our undivided attention throughout. He had a strong screen presence because he owned his role completely. Usman Zia is another actor who has not worked on television but is a theatre actor with a lot of experience. His passion for performing arts showed in the way he translated his character on-screen. In an interview, he also appreciated Wahaj Ali who helped him perfect his scenes.
Zaheer Taj (Jo Bichar Gaye)
Zaheer Taj was another actor in the drama serial Jo Bichar Gaye who was beyond impressive. He has not been part of the mainstream entertainment industry but is not new to performing arts. Zaheer Taj did complete justice to his character and just like all the other actors on this list, he made his scenes engaging even though his character was negative.
Syed Jibran (Mere Humnasheen & Pehchaan)
Syed Jibran has played all kinds of roles under the sun. He has shown his range as an actor by doing varied roles every single time & this year was no different for him. He was seen in two very different characters in both drama serials Mere Humnasheen & Pehchaan. Although these two dramas aired simultaneously with Hiba Bukhari being his cousin sister & wife in both the dramas, the way he did not let each of these tracks cross your mind for once went to show that he knew how to create a different aura & personality for each of his characters. He is also seen playing a complex character in the drama serial Daraar & once again, his range as an actor is commendable, making all of his performances strong & convincing in all these dramas.
Shehzad Sheikh (Mere Humnasheen)
Shehzad Sheikh has definitely worked his way up & it is commendable how must growth & maturity he has shown over the years. Shehzad Sheikh has now become quite conscious of the kind of dramas he picks & the characters he plays. He is at that stage of his career where he has convinced the viewers that no matter which character he will pick up, he will do complete justice to it. This is the reason why he succeeded in making Dr. Hadi’s character so likable & a fan favorite where everyone was rooting for Dr. Hadi & Khajista to be together against all odds. Shehzad Sheikh definitely has earned the spot in this list.
Ahsan Khan (Mere Humnasheen & Fraud)
Ahsan Khan is an experienced actor who is not now shying away from trying new characters & experimenting with more & more. This year was definitely a highlight in Ahsan Khan’s drama career where he got to play two very different characters in superhit drama serials Mere Humnasheen & Fraud. In Mere Humnasheed, Ahsan Khan made everyone like Darakhzai’s character although he had a lot of personality & aggression issues. He made Darakhzai’s growth & transition very convincing. In the drama serial Fraud, he is playing the role of a swindler, but again he has added a lot of layers to this character too where as a viewer you want to see more of Sajih despite knowing he’s up to no good. Two very convincing & strong performances by Ahsan Khan this year.
Farhaan Saeed (Mere Humsafar)
It won’t be wrong to say that Farhaan Saeed’s entry in the drama serial Mere Humsafar was the turning point of the entire drama where people started loving the character of Hamza as well as found it easy to follow a drama that had such a typical story filled with toxicity. Farhaan Saeed has always stated that he wants to be a part of dramas best suited for family entertainment & he once again delivered. It won’t be wrong to say that Farhaan Saeed made Mere Humsafar worthwhile because both his character, as well as performance, were too good to be missed.
Zahid Ahmed (Mor Maharan)
Mor Maharan did not get attention and viewership because of the way the script has been executed. Although Mor Maharan is flawed in many ways, Zahid Ahmed’s performance has been faultless. He changed his body language, expressions, and dialogue delivery to fit the role he is playing in the drama. His character did not take off immediately but Zahid Ahmed’s acting was impressive from the beginning. This list will be incomplete without him.
Babar Ali (Wehem & Mor Maharan)
We are so glad that Babar Ali has actively started working in dramas once again. He starred in many popular dramas this year and in most of these dramas, his performances were superb. We were especially impressed by his performances in Wehem and Mor Maharan. In both these dramas there is a mystery surrounding his characters but overall the characters are different from each other. Babar Ali has given each one of these characters a unique style that makes them stand out.
Atif Aslam (Sang e Mah)
Atif Aslam’s association with a TV drama took the internet by storm because his fans & drama viewers, in general, were eager to witness what Atif Aslam was going to do in his debut drama serial. Atif Aslam not only delivered but literally made everyone fall in love with the complex character of Hilmand who was at war with his mother & his stepfather. Atif Aslam actually made people forget that he was acting for the first time, that too against some of the seasoned actors of the Pakistani drama industry such as Nauman Ejaz, Sania Saeed & Samiya Mumtaz. He created such an aura of Hilmand & had such a strong screen presence that he convinced everyone this character was made for him & only he could do justice to it. Atif Aslam was definitely the star of Sang e Mah & gave an outstanding & phenomenal performance as Hilmand.
Nauman Ejaz (Sang e Mah)
Nauman Ejaz is one of the finest actors that the Pakistani drama industry has ever produced. He has worked really hard on his craft & has now become an institution in himself. Nauman Ejaz played the role of Haji Marjan Khan, a loving husband who had a very dark secret up his sleeve but could not say anything because he wanted to protect his wife all along. Throughout the drama, it kept the viewers guessing whether Haji Marjan was actually the villain as Hilmand saw him or was he the saint that his wife painted him to be & for Nauman Ejaz to keep the mystery around his character going on was just so effortless – showing his prowess as an actor. This was definitely a very strong performance seen by Nauman Ejaz this year.
Muneeb Butt (Ye Na Thi Hamari Qismat)
Muneeb Butt has become very selective about his projects, that is the reason he is not seen as regularly as he was a few years ago. This year, Muneeb Butt was a part of ARY digital’s soap opera Ye Na Thi Hamari Qismat & he played the role of Ayaan, a careless individual who did not understand his responsibilities towards his family as well as his wife. However, because of his life partner Muntaha, he understood how important it was to be selfless & nurturing when it came to family ties. Ayaan always had an issue with his cousin or his sister-in-law, however, Muneeb Butt added a lot of realism to his character that made his performance enjoyable to watch. After a long time, Muneeb Butt not only looked confident while facing the camera but his performance seemed a lot more effortless & natural too.
This completes the list of best performances given by Pakistani male actors in drama serials this year. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.