Arshad Aslam Finds Fame in ZACH STONE IS GONNA BE FAMOUS
ZACH STONE IS GONNA BE FAMOUS and he doesn’t care how. But Hasaad, Zach’s cameraman, hopes he’s along for the ride.
That’s the title and the plot of the MTV series, which stars Bo Burnham and features cameraman Arshad Aslam.
The Means to an End
Premiering this year, the series has taken Zach from one means of becoming famous (with no talent) to another.
Aslam told me, “In one episode, Zach goes missing. Of course, the media aims attention on him, and he tries to get famous that way. In another episode, he wants to be a celebrity cook, but he can’t cook. He’s constantly trying to pursue some means to become famous.”
Aslam thus far hasn’t had to pursue a claim to fame without talent. His talent is clear.
And he came to the Hasaad role from some pretty impressive guest appearances, including roles in RAISING HOPE and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.
About his role in RAISING HOPE, he said, “It just aired in January. It was really nice to work with all these people, especially with both leads being at a really young age.”
In HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, he was fortunate enough to work with the entire cast on a segment, playing the character of Brian.
He told me, “James was an obnoxious guy who worked at the movie theatre the gang goes to. It was just a fun character to play, and the audition was really fun. I got to work with every single one of them, and I thought that was really cool. Not everyone who’s a team player gets to work with every single cast member. It was great just to be on set with all of them.”
How It Began
His audition for Hasaad was fun as well, but he didn’t hear anything for two months afterwards. He told me, “The audition was very quick. It was a same day audition. I almost wasn’t able to make it, because I had a final in college. I had worked with a couple of people on the show a few years before, so I told myself I HAD to make the audition. So, I read for them and improvised a couple of lines, which they thought was funny. Then, a couple of months later, they called and said I got the part. I was like, ‘Sweet.’”
A Difficult Road
The show has also helped open some pretty heavily closed doors for Aslam. When he told his parents he wanted to act, at the age of eight, there was virtually no ethnic market. “There’s not a lot of parts out there for the Indian market,” he said. So, he gave up acting and decided to put his dream away until after college.
Upon returning to the field years later, he was able to land some parts that he hopes will pave the way for ethnic roles. “It’s been kind of difficult to overcome,” he told me.
On the Horizon
Aslam is now without doubt headed in the right direction. His upcoming film, HOME, is to be released in October. Though he couldn’t talk too much about the project, he did say that it is a thriller. “I’m really excited,” he said.
He’s also looking ahead to a future in directing and producing, having made his directorial debut last year in a music video. The prospect of writing and producing features at some point is also exciting to him.
Going back to his work in ZACH STONE, I asked what might be in the cards for the series. He said, “Zach’s personality has to date been very much about himself and his goal to be famous. We’ll start to see some real heart under the relationships he has with his family, his camera crew, and his girlfriend.”
Obviously, there’s much more to come from Arshad Aslam.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.