Those couch potatoes who are constant fixtures in front of the PTV and other local channels will find Behroze Sabzwari proving his histrionics in nearly all of them. You are hit by a feeling of deja vu. Haven't we seen this before? You glide on to the next one only to see Behroze once again in a similar role. And the story continues! He is a victim of the beastly disease of showbiz - overexposure - which makes even the most wanted faces the least desirable in a short spell of time. But then whose fault is this?
"We are really helpless as when recording we do not know when and from what channel the programmes would be aired. And before you know it your plays are being aired from all five channels. The timing is completely wrong. And it also fails to create an impact on the viewer no matter how hard you work."
Shouldn't one be more choosy then, considering ones popularity is at stake?
"Certainly, but these are tough times and we do have to survive. For that very reason I am doing a lot of stuff, some good some bad," he justifies, leaving no room to be questioned further.
Being as senior an actor as Behroze, one wonders that he should, by now, be able to judge a strong script from a weak one.
"Not really. In the beginning it all seems good enough, but once you go into recording, then things start shaping up. But by that time it's too late to pull out of it," says the sedate actor rather ruefully. However, one can't help but feel that this is a case of not wanting to let go of any opportunity and making the most before reaching the stage when the countdown begins.
Behroze has been around "for the last thirty-six years," but has never been around in the real sense as he is now. And as money has become a very important aspect of life in recent years due to new opportunities, his approach is quantity rather than quality.
He is not one of those actors who are reluctant in experimenting with negative roles. "I haven't done too many negative roles, but whenever I have it has always received positive feedback." But it's neither his regular appearance on television nor his portrayal of negative characters that gained him instant recognition. It was 'Qabacha' that endeared him to many households.
"Qabacha remained with me for a long time. But I never tried to do it again because I know I cannot do it a second time. Qabacha was not just me but the result of a team work. The director and writer made it possible for me. In this sense I have been real lucky. I've always worked with good teams."
Always? we inquire, keeping in mind the 'not so good projects' he has just mentioned? "Well, mostly," he says thinking about it. After the success of Tanhaiyan, film makers started pestering Behroze to re-enact Qabacha, but better sense prevailed and he resisted whatever temptation there might have been. But then he has never been too hot about films anyway.
"I have always lived in Karachi, so commuting back and forth for films has never appealed to me. Moreover, there's nothing noteworthy that our film industry has produced that we can be proud of," says the artist. Nevertheless, Behroze has dabbled in this genre. "I did at least twelve films some two decades back. In recent years I did Javed Sheikh's, Mushkil, Chief Saab and Sajjad Ali's, Ek Aur Love Story."
Should we assume that accepting Javed Sheikh's flick was obvious since he's Behroze's brother-in-law? "Not at all! I took it on because Javed is unlike your average filmwalas. This I say because he is a good friend and a good person and not because he's my relative. He has always been my friend first and then anything else," he says stoutly of his and Javed's twenty-six year old friendship. But many may think that the friendship took place due to Safina, Javed's sister, the thought is promptly corrected by Behroze.
"To fall for your friend's sister is kind of a betrayal. It was an arranged thing. When the idea was put forth, I thought why not? Since she was familiar with the showbiz scene because of her brother, I thought she would not have a problem accepting me and my career. It has never been a shock for Safina as it may have been to quite a few wives of showbiz hubbies. She has been a great help all along," he says contentedly.
What about the female fan following? "She's comfortable with the entire scene," says Behroze confidently.
Acting is what Behroze has been doing since the age of ten. It has been his bread and butter, his solace and his source of satisfaction all wrapped in one. Once he realized what showbiz was all about, Behroze knew the track he had to follow. The father of an adolescent, he would have no qualms whatsoever if his son, Shehroze, too followed in his footsteps. Sheroze has had a stint with the screen. What remains to be seen is if he too, like his father, falls in love with the mini-screen.