Vasay Chaudhry Se Sawal ~ You Ask He Answers

Collage2A film and TV writer, an actor, a host, a sometime rapper, and an occasional singer, Vasay Chaudhry is a man who wears many hats.

Beginning with Jutt and Bond and continuing with serials like Inspector Khojee, Rubber Band, Timmy G, the Baraat series (the first of which, Azar ki Ayegi Baraat, was written by Mohammed Ahmed), Yeh Shaadi Nahin Ho Sakti, and the remakes of Armaan and Abhi Tau Main Jawan Hoon, Vasay’s writing has kept us laughing with his patented brand of sharp but meaningful and clean humor. But then just when we thought we thought we had him pinned as a talented comedy writer he threw us a curve ball named Jackson Heights, a raw and gritty study of myriads of issues faced by desis living abroad. And its not just TV where he’s made his mark, his impressive writer’s resume also includes the very popular film Main Hoon Shahid Afridi.

Along with his writing Vasay Chaudhry is also an accomplished actor. I’m sure many remember his Samosa [w]rapping avatar as Bobby D in Annie ki Ayegi Baraat very fondly. Timmy G is another character that captured audiences’ attention. And if comedy is not your thing then his levelheaded Mikaal from Silvatein was a character that many of us missed when things got really insane with the two kooky sisters. Danny’s electric bromance with Armaan generated much more buzz than Armaan’s pairing with the lovely Zarnab. More recently he’s played Dr Sibtain in the immensely popular Pyare Afzal and is currently appearing as the ugh husband Faiq in Nazdikiyan.  If all this was not impressive enough then we’ve also seen Vasay as the suave host of the Hum TV awards.Collage3

Given his many accomplishments and multifaceted career its remarkable we have not seen Vasay on the morning talk show circuit (smart man!) nor have we read too much about him in the print and electronic media. No tardeeds, no controversies, no scandals, Vasay has preferred to let his work do the talking for him.

For a man so reticent I am thrilled to share that Vasay has consented to being interviewed by us, and has agreed to respond to queries about various aspects of his professional life. Now the ball is in your court. Whether it is Jackson Heights and/or his past writing that interests you, or his innumerable characters that have intrigued you, aap bhejye apne sawaal taakey de saken Vasay unke jawab. 

Just a few things to keep in mind:

  • The last date for posting your questions is Sunday, Feb 1st 2015.
  • Post each question as a separate comment.
  • Please avoid personal comments and refrain from rude questions and abusive language.
  • Lets try and make this an interesting, meaningful exercise, for Vasay and for ourselves, so lets ask thorey hat ke  sawal.

Ab kijeye sochna shuru and likhye jaldi se sawal …  and as you don your thinking caps I leave you with one of my favorite Vasay moments… enjoy!

Written by SZ~


95 replies

  1. @SZ and Vasay thanks for this wonderful opportunity.
    @SZ And a bigger thanks for reminding us of some of his older works, some of which i had forgotten, and some that I didnt even know that existed!.. will def check em out. (esp. Urban Desi. Hopefully we can find it on Youtube.

      • @Vasay Thanks alot for taking your time out and respond. It was lovely to see personal replies in my inbox this morning 🙂 It made my day!
        Yes Prime Minister was fab – will def check out Yes Sir now.. and the telefilm. ( Urban Desi is already on my watch list 🙂 )
        Enjoying your Bhatti Sahab to the core.. loads of those and Jalebi Jamshed’s around.. will keep an eye out for the Bobby D’s 🙂
        All the best for your future projects.. looking fwd to the movie
        @SZ thanks for arranging such a fantastic interview!

  2. You have worked alot on projects about desis abroad. Why this topic? & What’s the most intriguing factor you find about about desis abroad?

  3. I loved Bobby D. What inspired you to come up with a character like that? Did you actually meet/see anybody in Birmingham like him? And why Birmingham!!??!! .. As enjoyable as he was, Im yet to meet a Bobby D here! lol

    • well my most favorite project…hmmm…well i think every project (most of them) are special for some reason or the other but i think Inspector Khojee was something i really liked because writing that sitcom was very tough and interesting as it was a detective comedy done in a very stylized manner.THen there was another sitcom of mine called “Yes Sir”, it was a very loose adaptation of YEs prime minister, dint run for long but it was the most well researched play of mine and this tele film “kaash tu mera baap na hota”,somehow i always like the mood,tone and over all feel of that project.
      I have just written JH and one track of Booby and Fari D in the baraat series which dealt with Pakistanis living abroad 🙂
      My favorite character in JH would be Bhati sb ( i think ) but Aaminah,Adeel,Marina,adnan and ali have kindda made me grow fonder of their characters as well.Specially Adeel and Ali because i think they have done something so different from what our Tv audience gets to see on their screens.
      Once again thanks for Booby D…i always found such types to be interesting,hence the inspiration. Birmingham because alot of Pakistanis do live there and you might not have met Booby D’s but i have met sooooo many people over the years who have met or have people like Booby D in their families or community.

  4. How was it working with fawad khan and how did u guys have such great chemistry in armaan. The bromance between Danny and armaan was the highlight of the telefilm.

    • what inspires me to write?….eeek….i dont know …the story ,an idea,a situation or at times a character and mostly working with friends or people who’s work i admire (JH is one such example,i just wanted my first “serious” serial/drama to be with mehreen Jabbar).
      Comedy, maybe being a Punjabi or lahori helps..haha…pata nahe..allah has been kind and gives that perspective other wise nothing special and it was great working with Fawad (we worked to gather after 12 years) and we are friends in real life so i guess that helped…….NO, to be honest…we are great actors…( just kidding 🙂

  5. Vasay i really like your name first of all.. And then after watching you in Silvatein and your telefilm Abhi tou Me Jawan hoon.. Really got impress from you, your writing and acting skills.. Keep making us laugh and earning Sawab 😀

    Yes thank you @SZ for listing all his work and that amazing parody 🙂

  6. As i said i love your Mikaal in Silvatein so i wanted to ask as a writer you yourself do you add some of your witiness in the character (like improvising or add some funny stuff) as well or you just go with the script?

  7. You are among very few of those actors that bring smile on my face whenever they are on screen..thats the only reason i could watch Kahani Raima or Manahil ki.. But while choosing any character you play.. What things you look into ?

    • Hey Rehmat, thank you so much for all the kind words.I am glad that i can bring a smile on your face.SHukar Allah !
      I dont like to add stuff to the script (while acting)as i know that being a writer how it would make the writer feel,so i refrain from it (like i did in silvatein). While acting someone else’s character my job is only to act and enjoy ,so i try sticking to that.
      As for changes in my script, i dont like that myself ( like any hardworking writer) but minute changes are fine if they dont damage the essence of the scene or the characters.

  8. No praise does justice to your brilliant writing of the new series Jackson Heights… Its one thing to pen so much depth for each character and then patiently wait for it to be shot and experienced on the screen. my question for you, what did you think of the serial as you waited for it to unfold but got a first look at the screenshots by the behind the scenes pics as they began to release and give visualizations to your baby of sorts…

    • THank you Asim,it was a team effort and quite honestly i had a brilliant team working on my script. Waiting for my serials to happen is nothing new so pretty use to this cycle and i dont take my projects as my babies,sounds kinnda cliched to me (always did) but the BTS was good 🙂

  9. Thank you for arranging this Q and A session Desi rants and thank you for your time, Wasay Chaudhry.
    I’ve got a really boring/typical question for a writer; do you have the artists in mind that you think would do justice to the play while writing the script or is that a purely directors choice? Jackson Heights in particular is a very good example recently, every character seems to have been cast perfectly.

  10. Enjoyed your hosting in one of the tv award shows. If you were given a choice to host one of the international ones or be a part of writing for the hosts, which one would you choose and why?

  11. What is your take, especially as a writer on the somewhat influx of stuff, if you will, being put out that clearly comes under the ‘inspired from’ category? (Even though a lot of times proper credit isn’t given but is glaringly obvious in the product).

  12. thanks for soing this and for the amona sheikh thing. this time around, can you have a more comprehensive list of questions. this would require you to merge repeated questions. last time there were a) wayyyy too many questions b) many redundant ones. Amina ji was very nice to answer them all but to be respectful of your guests time and also that of your reader, i would suggest some

    • hey M kay, it varies from project to project.At times you think of actors and at times you dont, In JH’s case, after i wrote the first 2 eps we knew that only Nauman Ejaz would be able to do it right ( and what a performance has he given,modesty aside,i think this is one of his most interesting interpretation of a character)and he is by far the best actor on our Tv. The other characters had their casting done as i progressed with the writing and in the end we were really lucky to have SUCH a brilliant ensemble.
      I prefer Cinema ( find it more interesting)…dont know about hosting…can be any show,if i like the offer and Yes if the inspiration is too “obvious” then the credit should be given.

  13. thanks for soing this and for the amona sheikh thing. this time around, can you have a more comprehensive list of questions. this would require you to merge repeated questions. last time there were a) wayyyy too many questions b) many redundant ones. Amina ji was very nice to answer them all but to be respectful of your guests time and also that of your reader, i would suggest cleaning up/ editing questions where required so you have a few solid questions( say ten)

    • glad you noticed. i dont like to be on tv if i dont have much to say ( although we still have to go at times due to PR compulsions) and i believe that too much interaction should not be done. Now days celebrities are every where….twitter,facebook,instagram (i am also on all three :/ ) but it shouldnt be like that…there should be an element of mystery…your fans dont need to know what you are wearing,eating,shopping blah blah ALL the TIME.sorry but i am kindda old school so not as active as most are.

      • Thank you. I am as old school as they come myself. Even though I have a FB and twitter account (and ‘follow’ you), I don’t really expect celebs to post each and every aspect of their day to day lives. There is a way to keep it simple. People do have a choice. Like you said.
        The only good thing I find is it gives fans like myself who wouldn’t dare approach these celebs in real life because of their bashfulness or the lack of opportunity to interact with them directly.
        Aadhi, well maybe pouni (a quarter of) mulaqaat hi sahi.
        Thanks again for doing this for your fans.

    • never really thought about it but i think i would have done a much better job on a play like “mai abdul qadir hoon” ( thats the only contemporary one i can think of regarding your question).
      I enjoy Anwar Maqsood Saheb writing always. khalil Ur rehman Qamars Dialogues and Umera Ahmed’s work in Zindagi Gulzar hai. Internationally i am a huge fan of R balki’s and Raju Hiranis work (INDIA) and woody alan, christopher Nolan and again a Huge fan of Ben Stiller’s writing and directorial Credentials ( hollywood )

  14. “The new Re emergence of Pakistani films is Now Dependent on Pakistani Cinema owners & Indian film Importers”..Vasay Chaudhry

    mera sawal isi tweet say mutaliq hai k jub Turkish dramas aye tou sari drama industry ek sath khari hoi poori ek campaign chalai gai har forum ko is k liay istemal kia gaya public main awareness ya jo bhi tha lekin apni awaz aur apna pov bohat clearly sub k samnay rakha aur aaj hum dekh rahay hain prime time per Pakistani content hi nazer ata hai kuch channels ko chor ker

    ye unity kabhi bhi film industry ki terf say nahi dikhai kia kia waja hai?

  15. 2- Government indian movies aur oon ki pakistan main release say mutaliq koi policy kiun nahi banati?…kiaa cinema owners aur indian film importers itnay strong hain k poori Pakistani industry mil ker bhi kuch nahi ker sakti…humari movies india ki mega budget movies say kis tra muqabila ker sakti hain aur ye situation aur bhi complicated ho gai hai jub humaray super stars wahan jaa ker kaam ker rahay hain..imagine kren kal ko hamza aur fawad ki movies ek sath compete ker rahi hain..hum kis ko support kren gay Pakistani movie ya indian movie with Pakistani star?

    • jee RJ, app bilkul sahe keh rahe hain Cinema owners aur film importers waqai bahut strong hain iss waqt aur film producers filhaal Bikhray hoay hain. lakin Hakumat ki zimidari hai kay khud koi policy banaye ….Film producers kay Marnay ka intezaar karna Lazmi nahe 🙂

  16. JH say mutaliq bhi ek sawal hai k Bhatti sahib nay Kathy say kiun shadi ki aur abhi tak kiun nibhaiy chalay jaa rahay hain ye tou samajh ata hai lekin Kathy kiun Bhatti sahib ko berdasht ker rahi hai jub k oon ki apis mein bilkul nahi banti aur west mein divorce aam si cheez hai ye abhi tak kisi ko samajh nahi aya..please iss per kuch roshini dalen

    • roshini dal gai iss epi mein 🙂 ..mere khayal say iss sawal ko nikal den kiunk mujhay nahi lag raha ab iss ka koi matlab hai..baqi tou main review per hi boloon gi 🙂

  17. Good question; VZ -One play you wish you had written?

    If I can further add to that to ask one last one; is there a script of yours where you think you could have done a better job on?

    Once again, thanks to everyone involved in setting up this Q and A. And for considering any of my questions.

    Look forward to the event and hope there will be more to follow.
    Thank you.

  18. Firstly MY GOODNESS!! This is by far my favourite drama in a LONG LONG TIME!! You have done so well with the storyline!! I am completely in love with these characters!!

    Apologies in advance if you’ve already been asked these questions:

    What was the motivation behind this story? As in, what drove you into wanting to write it?

  19. If there were to be a single message behind JH, what would you say it is? and is it something that you’ve applied to yourself?

  20. The actors that portray these characters are perfection!! Were these the actors you pictured to play the characters whilst writing?

    • Hey Shameen, The inspiration initially was to work with Mehreen as i mentioned earlier.once that was done then the discussions,research led to the formation of the story lines. Message i wont know,you guys tell me. The story,characters,incidents might have been seen by me but not in the same way.This is always a tricky and difficult question to answer but i guess i might have encountered something or someone or could have observed these things and characters some where (could also be that different traits from different people were merged togather to make A character ).
      I would have like to play Jamshed or Sikander …(bhatti is too difficult a character for a bad actor like me,only Nauman Ejaz could do it )
      Yes the criticism has been there but people are also not happy with Saas bahu,Doosri and Panchvi Biwi,Saali -cousin secret affair tracks….so basically THAT lot is just not happy and specially most of these Review Sites , they are just running a business, Writing RECAPS of episodes is not a review or wishing the story to be a certain way( be a writer then,not a Critic).The only reason i agreed to write on DRNR is because she looks beyond the obvious while writing reviews.. the layers, the knitting ,the socio impact, the thread and fibre of the story….the rest are best not talked about.
      The only thing i have learnt from writing and not from acting is that its the toughest job in the creative side of this business haha ( my actor friends would kill me )

      • Well I for one, think you did an amazing job in that parody with Fawad Khan and Nauman Ijaz lol and of course I am loving this storyline!!! Also 100% agree on what you’ve said about other review sites – SZ is definitely an exceptional reviewer hence we’re here 🙂 thank you for taking the time out to respond!!

  21. How challenging would you say it is to write a story like JH, which is considered to be so out of the box for the audience? To what extent do you keep the audience in mind when writing?

  22. How would you respond to people who say that the story cannot be related too and characters like Salma and Michelle are too unrealistic?

  23. I really enjoyed the portrayal of the friendship you had with Fawad Khan in Armaan, it seemed so natural and great acting by both of you!
    Are you planning on involving him or working with him in any future projects?

  24. Recently I was watching ‘Arman’ online, and for some reason the video got stuck when the boys reach Murree and meet the Mirza sisters. I considered it a blessing and haven’t watched the rest of the film because I prefer my version of the story better where Zarnab ends up with ‘Naqli Armaan’-Danny.
    You share a great on-screen rapport with Aamina Sheikh, so much so that Adeel Hussain’s Rayan from ‘Silvatein’ got insecure and it wasn’t a least bit unconvincing. I, for one, loved the Meekal/Zaib dynamics: Best friends to overprotective fiancé angle back to being best buds.
    Are there any future projects you two are working on that fans should look out for?

  25. I haven’t been able to watch a lot of your work, quite honestly, but watching Silvatein, I realised that Vasay Chaudhry can. really. act. While comedy is your forte, I believe that you should take up serious roles more often, dramatic acting might even be your least explored talent. Which of the two genres do ‘you’ enjoy working on, A) as an actor and B) as a writer?

  26. Having various different dialects and accents originated from Pakistan, would you as an actor consider learning nuances in order to experiment and play around with the characters you portray? As Sohail Asghar sahab did in the heydays of Pakistan Television.

  27. Of all the stories that you’ve written till date, which do you find best in terms of entertainment, one that you yourself may watch at any given time of day?

  28. How did you come up with a story like Jackson Heights, as in how were you able to grasp and narrate to the audience the harsh realities and hard facts Pakistanis or other desis living abroad have to face?

  29. Can we please have ‘Inspector Khojee’ back? A revamped TV show or a Movie, either way it would be nice to have it back and kicking! And with the original cast.

    • Hey Kokab, I am glad that you think that i managed to. i have never been to the US (ever) so considering that ,i will take that as a Huuuuuge compliment 🙂
      yes i also want khojee back.
      Personally speaking i think Raima n manahil could have been much much better and yes i will surely give your idea a thought 🙂

  30. After ‘Kahani Raima aur Manahil ki’ I see you and Mehreen Raheel as modern day Desi Ranjha/Wilaytee Heer. I’m not giving any ideas here (or am I?) but what do you say of a contemporary verison of the folklore? Rom-com, Anti rom-com or otherwise. Consider it a fan’s request.

  31. Since you wear many hats, any predictions about the direction of the Pakistani industry? Commercial bandwagon…Bollywood imitation…? Will some of the great story-telling we see now in the mainstream be delegated to “art or parallel cinema” as the industry grows?
    PS: Love the characters in Jackson Heights.

    • dont know about the direction of the film industry but i can tell you one thing for sure that without a commercial cinema we will not survive. we will only have 2-3 films in 6-7 years like KKL and BOL (which were great) but a parralel cinema only cannot sustain the film industry. I also feel that other then the element of “item numbers” the song n dance phenomenon in our films is not a bollywood thing. Ever since 1948 we have made films where hero and heroines use to sync songs and dance,so this song n dance is as much ours as it is of Bollywood.

  32. Thank you SZ for doing this! LOVE Vasay! He’s so multi-talented MashAllah! I think all the questions have been asked. Looking forward to his responses.
    We miss Qeema samosa Alloo samosa more than Saima Chaudhry 😉

  33. Could you tell us a little bit more about the film, Jawani Phir Se Nahin Aani, that you have been shooting with Humayun Saeed, Ahmed Butt, Hamza, Ayesha Khan, and Ali Kazmi… Did you write the script for this one?

    • JPNA will come out around September Insha allah and yes i have written the script aswell. Its an out n out comedy and something i am really looking forward too.

  34. Jackson Heights is a departure from your usual style of writing and it has been variously received by the audiences … how much does public response impact what you write next?

    • SZ, public response does matter in a way in if the thing works then all the producers want that TYPE of play from you .I remember after Dolly every one wanted a Dolly ki baraat from me but i just did it with the same team. i mean why would i want to do the same thing when i am already doing it with the original team ( ended up not making instant money as a direct result of this theory ;/ ) . These days i am working on a Serials script which i started before JH went on air so in that way JH’s reaction is not reflecting on it (also because its not like JH ).
      The 23-24 ep format is killing us right now and the producers and directors would have to extensively sit down with their writers after every ep,if they want their projects to be interesting for 24 eps,an exercise we dont do abhi.
      Thank you so much SZ for this opportunity to interact with your readers.I am honored and humbled by your responses.Thank you so much 🙂

      • @Vasay Ch: Thank you SO much!! Im sure all readers will join me in a giving you a huge round of applause for for taking so much time – 2 hours!! – to respond to our questions. 👏👏
        Your very candid and detailed responses are thoroughly appreciated – as they say in classic fb lingo: you rox!! 👍 👍

        Also appreciate your sharing info about your future projects. Now that we know about them, we’ll definitely keep an eye out for them. Wish you all the best for your ongoing and future projects 🙂

        Thank you!


      • Thank you SZ and Vasay for this treat. Enjoyed reading all the ques. and replies. My family loves your work Vasay and we look forward to many more (hatke or not) serials and movies coming from you.
        And thank you for writing some memorable characters – My 9 yr old and I both love Bhatti Sahb (Nauman Ejaz is simply the best) but strangely we also love Sikander. Aur Bobby D toh hamaray ghar ka larka hai 🙂
        Plz continue writing- Pak tv needs you.

  35. Dear All,

    Thank you so much for your enthusiastic participation and your wide ranging questions. We are no longer accepting further questions 🙂

  36. thank u Vasay 🙂 …thank u SZ 🙂 … kaash main aap ko jalebiyan bhi bhej sakti tou iss baar zroor bhej deti..kher humara rookha sookha shukria qabool kren 🙂

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