Happy birthday Hamza Ali Abbasi! Since his debut thirteen years ago, he has been gracing our screens with powerful performances revered by audiences. Within a short time, he has played a lovelorn man willing to decieve parents for his crush, a rebellious filmmaker who learns how to find a path back to God and a terrifying villain, cementing his status as one of Pakistan’s most versatile stars. While Abbasi has announced that he is set to come back on the big screen with two new projects, lets take a jog down memory lane in celebration of his birthday, and review three outstanding performances.

1 Alif

If there will be a Pakistani drama remembered years from now, it will definitely be ‘Alif’. The serial aired I 2020 but has remained alive within Pakistani pop culture as one of the few times a drama dominated all public discourse. Abbasi plays the troubled and rebellious Momin, who is grieving from childhood trauma and has completely lost his way in life. When he crosses paths with Momina (played by Sajal Aly), a struggling actress trying to make a living for her family, they help each other reach their destinations, and Momin learns to find refuge in God.


2 Maula Jatt

Action-thriller Maula Jatt made a wave around the world, raking in money and praise alike. Abbasi and Fawad Khan took the remake to dizzying heights, recreating old magic and generating plenty of new thrills. Hamza took the feared Noori Natt to new heights with his chilly portrayal of a psychopathic killer.

3 Pyarey Afzal

If Maula Jatt changed the way Hamza Ali Abbasi went from being the token good boy to a dark villain, then the lovelorn aashiq in ‘Pyarey Afzaal’ was the role that cemented his position in the industry. Acting opposite Ayeza Khan, who played Farah, Abbasi portrayed the titular character Afzal, who has a crush on Farah, and writes letters to himself that he claims to have received from her. But his world changes when Farah reaches out to him and requests him to pretend to be a love interest, so her parents don’t marry her off against her wishes.