Hungry for more

Popular TV actor Mishu Sabbir not only wants to work more but also firmly believes in creative experimentation…writes Adnan Akib

SOURAV LASKAR

SOURAV LASKAR

If he is on the screen, you are more likely than not to have a good hearty laugh. But of course, he is not only known for his portrayal of funny characters. Md Sabbir Hossain, popularly known as Mishu Sabbir, is quite a character in person and aspires to delve into a wide range of roles. But whatever he has done so far has already earned him thousands of fans.
With a total of around 250 teleplays, more than 10 television commercials and one film already under his belt, the young performer stands out from many others in the entertainment industry. Another film titled Good Morning London is in the pipeline, he mentions. And the volume of teleplays that he is a part of keeps increasing.
Some of Sabbir’s most appreciated teleplays include the likes of Vitamin T, All Time Dourer Upor, Hello, Hey Baby and many more.
‘It has already been 12 years for me in the industry and I still have been able to maintain the hype by the grace of Allah. I’m thankful for what I have and trying to be better every day,’ says Sabbir.
Many may not know that in his personal life, when the cameras are not rolling, Sabbir is a huge music geek and a football fan. In fact, he was involved with a Bangladeshi rock metal band.
‘I am deeply attached to music. I love listening different genres of music. In fact, I was a studio keyboardist of a band called Scarecrow. I also took part in Citycell-Channel I Music Awards,’ he mentions.
The actor further adds that he used to play a lot of football in his leisure time. ‘Many don’t know that I used to be hired to play football in tournaments in my community, i.e., Tejkuni Bazar and Mirpur, where I grew up,’ he says.
Currently, Sabbir has such a packed work schedule that almost the only time he is free is the few hours that he sleeps at night. He is currently working for four TV series and 14 Eid-ul-Adha specials and does not even take weekends off.
Sabbir acted in 14 of the last Eid-ul-Fitre specials that were telecast on different channels. ‘For me, sleeping four to five hours every night is a must and that is my rest. I don’t get too much time to spend on leisurely activities. But it doesn’t create a big problem only because I’m passionate about my profession. I wish I could get a calendar where a month had 32 days,’ says Sabbir jokingly.
However, he mentions that sometimes he feels that he is not getting enough time with family and tries to spend as much time with them as possible. ‘I hope they understand..’ he adds.
Sabbir lost his father back in 2012 due to kidney ailment. ‘I had to go to work from the hospital for six months. That was such a difficult time for me and my family,’ he says. Among three siblings he is the youngest, both of his elder siblings live abroad. He feels that the grief of his father’s death has made him stronger and more responsible.
Sabbir’s first ever work was for Odrissho Bornomala, but that never made it to the television. His first teleplay that was aired was Houseful in 2009. And from then on he has not really had to look back.
Although majority of Sabbir’s fans like him for the comic roles, he however feels that his craving for acting would not be satiated by playing comic characters alone.
‘I don’t have a particular dream character in mind, but I always look for something new. As long as the character is new and appealing, I’m in,’ says Sabbir.
‘We have so many commercial directors in the industry who do not value artistic creativity and experimentation. The quality of the end product depends largely on the directors. How can new, innovative work come if directors don’t want to experiment with the artistes? The directors are always looking to take the safest options, using artistes only for roles they are good at. I would like to request directors to be more creative and open-minded about experimentation and pushing artistic boundaries’ he asserts.
American actor Nicholas Cage inspires Sabbir a lot. ‘I started wondering about acting in my university life when I used to watch his (Cage) work. If someone is interested in acting then they should follow his icon’s work,’ he shares.
Sabbir then lightheartedly adds, ‘Though I am more of a Hollywood material, I do like Farhan Akhtar and much adored Utpal Dutta, they inspire me. I have learned a lot about acting from Abul Hayat uncle and Mosharraf Karim bhai. Syed Sumon taught me theatre acting. I am thankful to all of them.’
According to Sabbir, another issue that plagues the Bangladeshi entertainment scene is the lack of originality and blindness about following either Hollywood or Bollywood. ‘We have identity crisis. We follow either Hollywood or Bollywood. There is nothing out of the box. Everything is almost the same. But the teleplay industry is however growing. Our storytelling, theme selection, camera skills are better than before. If we get adequate budget like in other countries, we could do a lot more. I would like to request our audience to watch Bangladeshi productions. The audience should not criticise Bangladeshi work before watching them,’ says Sabbir.
Another aspect of Sabbir that remains mostly unknown is that he has had an eventful work history. He has worked in the IT departments of both a private bank and a private TV channel. ‘I worked for six years before venturing into acting. Now I am a fulltime actor. I actually enjoyed my previous works as well, but acting is what matters most,’ says Sabbir.
Switching his career was quite an experiment for Sabbir. ‘I used to work behind the camera at first. Then different people started asking if I would ever fancy working in front of the camera. Then I started acting, it was born out of curiosity’ he elaborates.
Sabbir attained his School Secondary Certificate from Monipur High School and College and Higher Secondary certificate from Dhaka Commerce College. He completed his graduation in 2004 from Independent University, Bangladesh in Computer Science Engineering.

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