WHETHER it is on stage, television, film or in a popular ASDA commercial, Muzz Khan has consistently shown off his impressive range as an actor and worked with many established names. The versatile British Asian, who is also an accomplished DJ, rcently joined the cast of West End show, The Unfriend, which premieres in December.
Eastern Eye asked the top Kent-based talent to reflect on 10 of his career highlights.
Snookered (2012): Any actor’s dream is to work with those who inspire them. So, to land a lead role in a play by Tamasha theatre company at London’s Bush Theatre was the ultimate thrill. The production about northern, Pakistani, Muslim male masculinity and fragility is still one of the best plays ever written.
Much Ado About Nothing (2012): The Royal Shakespeare Company is on many an actor’s bucket list. The holy grail of Shakespeare. Our version of the play, set in India, featured Meera Syal and Kulvinder Ghir, who many of us have adored since the days of Goodness Gracious Me. The play did so well in Stratford that it transferred to London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre. Huge highlight.
London Mela (2013 and 2014): Aside from acting, much like my counterpart Idris Elba, I also DJ and have done it for over 15 years. Getting booked by Continental Drifts to deliver DJ sets at the London Mela was everything. The bhangra-garage, desi and r’n’b sets went down a storm. Nobody knows how to bust a groove quite like the south Asians. The energy was electric.
Behind The Beautiful Forevers (2014): Just after drama school, I used to be an usher at the National Theatre in London and always yearned to be on that stage, while selling ice creams in the interval. That dream finally arrived when I got cast in this play by Sir David Hare. I was reunited with Meera Syal and Anjana Vasan. It was a joyous experience.
Galavant (2015): My co-stars in this heavyweight show for American audiences were Vinnie Jones, Karen David, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Bonneville, Simon Callow, Robert Lindsay, Matt Lucas, Sheridan Smith, Eddie Marsan, Reece Shearsmith and Weird Al’ Yankovic. I mean, need I say more?
The show is what would happen if Game of Thrones and Disney had a lovechild. What a ride this job was.
Me Before You (2016):Speaking of Game of Thrones, it was an honour to be working with Emilia Clarke on this wonderful film. My first taste of Hollywood. We did the whole red carpet European premiere and flying to Los Angeles thing. When American airport authorities questioned letting someone with a Muslimsounding name in, a big-shot manager sorted it out quickly – but that part was intense.
ASDA commercial (2020-2021): Picture the scene. You’re a working class, Pakistani, Muslim guy from Lancashire and picked to be the face of one of the UK’s leading supermarkets for their TV and radio commercials. Excuse me, what? I ended up doing more than 20 ASDA commercials, including the big Christmas one. The best thing about this job was getting to do it with my wife and three kids. I got to show the UK how magical families can be. That ASDA gig really saved us during what was a dark Covid spell for many. The only downside was the racist, Islamophobic and xenophobic abuse I got on social media. People of colour in mainstream television can still be considered a problem by some.
Hed Kandi (2021 to present): I have had a complete and utter obsession with house music and rave since I was eight years old. I’ve been dancing to the clubbing institution that is Hed Kandi since my days at drama school. I bought all the CD compilations of a global brand that has always exuded style, energy, class and hedonism. So, when they asked me to become one of their resident DJs in 2021, I couldn’t refuse. They’re still going strong and conquering dancefloors across the UK and beyond. Every gig is a dream.
Brassic (2023): I’ve been nagging my agents at Curtis Brown for years to get me in on this show and this year, it finally happened. Sky’s biggest comedy in a decade has a major cult following. As a new series regular, Adyan Khan, I got to work with the lovely Michelle Keegan, Bhavna Limbachia, Dominic West, Lee Mack and a host of other legends. It’s currently showing on Sky/NOWTV as we speak.
The Unfriend (2023-2024): I’ve just been announced as a cast member for hit West End show, The Unfriend. It’s written by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat, directed by Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss and stars Lee Mack (who I’m delighted to be working with again). We’re a cast of seven and rehearsals are going great. It’s such an achingly funny play about Britishness. We open at The Wyndham’s Theatre in December and play until March 2024.