His Pakistan ad breaking gender-based stereotypes, Ishwak Singh on why men don't chase do's and don'ts lists
Months after the concept of gender role reversal was celebrated in Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam K Ahuja starrer Veere Di Wedding, another Pakistan ad is being lauded for shunning stereotypes. Interestingly, Ishwak Singh, who played a small role in the female-driven wedding drama, frontlines this campaign of a spices brand.
Speaking to mid-day about the Imtiaz Ali-directed ad, the actor calls the project "progressive" and fitting in the 21st century, given that it sees him venture into the kitchen, questioning norms that suggest the place is a woman's domain. The ad also sees him work hard to impress his prospective in-laws as the bunch of men test his worth.
"I had never heard of a concept like that, where a guy goes all out to impress the family of a girl, who come to his place with a proposal for marriage. My character can't be called effeminate merely because he's the one cooking [instead of the girl]. He's just uninstitutionalised," says Singh, adding that today, men don't need to follow a conventional list of do's and don'ts. "I could relate to the character. He is motivated to step out of his comfort zone and cook due to love. Many men and women would walk the extra mile today, for that."
Singh says giving his nod to work with Ali was a no-brainer. It was a yes from the word go as soon as Mukesh Chhabra's casting agency contacted him. "While working with him, I discovered the brilliant director that he is and how well he knows his craft. After I shot a pivotal scene, he told me precisely what was going on in my mind, and suggested that I approach it differently. It was like he was reading my thoughts."
The actor in the ad