Saturday 19 November 2022

Umair Jaswal 'extremely fortunate' to portray Shoaib Akhtar onscreen

Singer Umair Jaswal is all set to star as the former cricketer, Shoaib Akhtar, in an upcoming biopic. Titled Rawalpindi Express, the project will focus on the fast bowler's life - on the professional and personal front. 

Jaswal has confirmed that he will be playing a leading role in the motion picture. With an immersive storyline, the film is a tribute to the celebrated cricketer, Akhtar. Fans will also see other well-known celebrities from the Pakistani entertainment industry playing key characters in the film.

The movie is set to release on November 16, 2023. Further, the aforementioned project will mark Jaswal's return to the big screen after six long years of focusing on his music career. 

“This project is a dream come true for me as an actor," the Coke Studio star shared in a statement. "I feel extremely fortunate to portray Shoaib Akhtar on screen. His life is an inspiration to several youngsters in Pakistan. He is not just a superstar in Pakistan but for all cricket lovers globally."

He further shared, "It is a huge responsibility to shoulder, and I am completely aware of this. I am cherishing every moment of this journey and I will always treasure the time spent with him in preparing for this role which required a new level of dedication and effort. He has recounted several stories and experiences of the ups and downs he has faced in life en route to becoming an international star cricketer. I hope that audience loves this narrative and gets inspired." 

When asked about how feels about casting Umair Jaswal for the role, director Faraz Qaiser said, “The film will span from 1975 to 2002 and requires physical transformation to be shown by an actor. Umair Jaswal perfectly fits the role as he is a sports and fitness enthusiast and has worked on his body and fitness level for several months."

Qaiser added, "His dedication is unparallel and he recognizes the gravity of the role, and the commitment required to bring in the persona of legendary cricketer Shoaib Akhtar live on screen. Umair has a keen understanding of the bowling technique as well. I am extremely pleased to have Umair Jaswal on board and we are looking forward to starting shooting in December 2022 in Pakistan, Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia”.

Jaswal’s addition to Rawalpindi Express will further solidify his career as an actor. Rawalpindi Express is expected to capture the passion, excitement, purpose, activism, and positivity around sports. The movie is said to set a benchmark and bind audiences with the power of sports, its cultural impact, and its unrivaled ability to transcend borders and barriers.

The film tells a story about the enduring power of the human spirit, relationships and complexities that come along with it. It’s a story of sacrifice and overcoming one’s demons and fears. Most importantly, it’s a story of unconditional love; for family, for a nation, and for the game of cricket. It’s a story that must be told and a fantastic team has come together for it. 

Jaswal started his career in 2008 by joining the rock band Qayaas. Soon after he gained popularity with his songs Tanha and Umeed. He later joined Coke Studio where he made a name for himself as one of the most talented vocalists in Pakistan. Jaswal later made his big screen debut in the war epic film Yalgaar as Captain Umair. He also made his television debut by appearing in the serial Mor Mahal in 2016. 

In 2020, the Sammi Meri Waar crooner also featured in his series titled Raahi where he explored the beautiful landscapes of Pakistan on his motorbike. Jaswal has several other projects in the pipeline. 

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