Shama Film Magazine asks Shaan to clarify certain questions that have sprung up recently.
Lollywood mega star Shaan was recently cornered by a local film rag and issued with a 10-point charge sheet of major gripes against him. Mincing no words at all here are the accusations as well as the responses that Shaan offered in his defence:
Accusation 1. Shaan, you are known to be a moody, temperamental, arrogant and obnoxiously rude person! Basically, you think too highly of yourself.
Shaan: I am sorry to say that people have no recognition of character over here – if people think that because I don’t talk a lot, I am being rude, that is most unfair. Just because unlike other stars I don’t party on the set or mess around with heroines – I try to approach my work with a certain amount of professionalism and as long as I am left to do my work, I don’t particularly care what others are thinking about me.
Accusation 2. You have this thing about speaking in English all the time. You think that you are above everyone else and are trying to prove some point with your constant English.
Shaan: Who told you this! I think someone has tried
to misguide you. I must stress that this is totally incorrect
yet I should also mention that I did go to study in America and I doubt there
are any people in the industry who speak as well as I do. However, even in our
industry most of our heroes and heroines speak in English. – yet how strange
that there should be such a complex or stigma attached to the person who speaks
in English. or not!
I am proud and happy to speak in Punjabi or Urdu as much as I can and resort to English. when the need arises. I myself would like to be understood by the majority of my fans and so Urdu and Punjabi are ideal preferences – especially while dealing with the media.
Accusation 3. You think of yourself as the “Action King” and appear only is such movies.
Shaan: Actually, I much prefer the romantic films that I have appeared in as opposed to the more action-oriented kind. However, it seems that the financiers and producers feel that there isn’t much of a market for the romantic films and so you have mostly action films being produced. Today fortunately I am in a position where I can select from both Urdu and Punjabi roles to suit myself.
Accusation 4. You are only in the position you are today due to your parents, film producer/director Riaz Shahid and your film star mother Neelo begum. Despite this you claim to have made it in your own right.
Shaan: I want to state very clearly that I am what I am today due to my parents. I am proud to be the son of Riaz Shahid and also proud to say that Mummy has supported me all the way and given me the chance to succeed. She gave me my initial break but after that I have forged ahead on my own strength. I acknowledge completely that my parents set me upon a path with all the support that they could give me and I will forever be grateful for that, yet after the initial steps, I have managed to support myself and am in the position I find myself today due to my own effort.
Accusation 5. You are terribly jealous of Saud’s success and have colluded with producers to have his role chopped down to what you thought was a less threatening size. In the film Ishtahari Gujjar you hacked his role down considerably.
Shaan: I hardly have the time to sit in editing rooms cutting down the footage time of my co-stars! It’s nonsense that I am jealous of Saud and that I have worked with directors to cut his roles. Though it is true that Saud and I are not friendly and that I didn’t invite him to my wedding functions, but as an actor I quite like Saud. I have nothing personal against him and I have achieved enough fame and fortune that I don’t have to be jealous of people like Saud.
Accusation 6: Both Reema and Noor are heartbroken and go about town crying that they were deceived by you and that you promised them marriage and then tricked them.
Shaan: I had no idea that either girl had seen me as the man of their dreams – Yes Reema and I were once an item but we decided to end the relationship. I never tricked either Noor nor Reema with any promises of marriage. This totally untrue.
Accusation 7. You think yourself to be some sort of god’s gift to mankind the way your head has grown so big!
Shaan: Thanks for calling me “tees maar khan”! I am not interested in showing off or collecting trophy’s and awards. I have enough already and if I was so obsessed with filling my cupboard with awards, I would have at least bothered to attend the ceremonies! (in reference to his snubbing the Nigar Awards)
Accusation 8. Why have you shunned the Nigar Awards and never bother to show up at them? They are the oldest awards in the country.
Shaan: over a period of time the Nigar’s have lost their value. When the founders of the award were presiding over it, the Nigar had a lot of value and prestige. However now it is a different issue altogether. They no longer have the importance that the National Awards carry and I am happy to support the National Awards despite being disappointed that despite my performances in three films that were nominated, Humayun Saeed took the award for his single performance in Inteha.
Accusation 9. In your own productions you have basically tried to fool audiences by just copying western product.
Shaan: The action scenes of my films are shot in such a manner that they resemble the style of a lot of western action films. The way they are presented is similar to the western films but at least I don’t duplicate Indian films like so many do.
Accusation 10. You have scant respect for your fellow stars and workers.
Shaan: Who told you that? Rubbish, I have complete respect for my fellow co-stars.